|Posted by James FitzGerald IV on February 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM|
The Los Angeles Lakers have had easily one of the most tumultuous seasons in their franchise history. They have been through head coach firings and hirings, acclimating to a new offensIve system, constant injury to personnel, media scrutiny, front office mismanagement, locker room tiffs between star players, and the death of their iconic owner .
Yet, through all of that, Kobe Bryant has imposed his will on this team and season by proclaiming that despite all the chaos that has surrounded the team this season, and the team's slow start, the Lakers were going to make the playoffs. Going into the All-Star break that looked as though that would be a tall task, but somehow, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have scratched and clawed their way back and now only sit 2.5 games behind the Houston Rockets after defeating the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.
Kobe Bryant's 38 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists, led the charge for a spirited Lakers unit that has collected 11 wins in their last 15 games. The Lakers also got a solid contribution from Steve Nash who chipped in 20 points, and Antwan Jamison who came off the bench scoring 13. The Lakers have basically shortened their rotation to eight players, it seems, with only three players seeing time off the bench in this game.
The Dalls Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzi had one of his best games of the season scoring 30 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, but in the end it was not enough to hold off a surging Los Angeles Lakers team. Los Angeles is starting to roll and they are playing prideful basketball after the death of Lakers team owner Dr. Jerry Buss on Feb. 18th. They have the Houston Rockets in their sights now, and catching them is not out of the realm of possibility. You just can't count the Lakers out just yet. They still have a chance of snatching the Rockets and claiming the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.