Lakers Examiner: The Los Angeles Lakers played one of their best all-around games of the season Monday night to defeat the Phoenix Suns, 128-107, in game one of the Western Conference Finals. Kobe Bryant, who hit his stride during the Utah Jazz series, looked like he hadn’t missed a beat as he torched the Suns for 40 points on 23 shots.

There were questions about Kobe’s health going into the series, particularly after it was revealed that he had a significant amount of fluid drained from his right knee prior to the series opener with the Suns.

Those questions were answered early as Kobe had that “I’m going to rip your heart out” look on his face all game long, and played with a renewed sense of vigor.

Now, however, the question becomes: how long can Kobe keep this up?

I heard Chris Webber (who had his fair share of knee injuries) on the radio yesterday describing what it’s like to have fluid drained. He said that it basically takes away all the swelling and soreness, so you feel great the next couple of days.

The problem is, Webber said, that the fluid inevitably returns until you fix what is really wrong with the knee. That is what the Lakers need to worry about.

Continue reading ‘Can Kobe’s knee keep up the pace?’

  • Sasha4Lvp

    if we can (and should) get rid of phx in 4 or 5 games, then kobe (and bynum) will get at least another week of west before the finals…kobe will be fine!

  • keepon_keepinon18

    Totally agree with the first comment. Even with Kobe scoring 40 in Game 1, I couldn’t help but feel as if Kobe looked a little slow. He was definitely dialed in and make “out-smarting” drives to the basket but I didn’t see his regular explosiveness. The fastbreak dunk was a good example ~ he didn’t look like he got that high. Nonetheless, it looked to me like, while Dudley has size and length and Hill has poorman Battier-like defense, the Suns can’t contain Kobe. Their attempt in Game 1 was for Kobe to take long shots and keep his field goal attempts high in order to reduce the performance of the other Lakers. I really want to see Kobe and Ron keep pushing the ball into the post in Game 2.

    Due to many Laker players performing with injuries, a slow half-court game is all the more important. I also heard that the Suns will look to play more zone defense to cut down the points in the paint for the Lakers. How the Lakers’ perimeter players respond to this will be interesting… also, playing zone defense slows the game down (favors Lakers) and will weaken the Suns’ transition game (due to most players clogged in/near paint). The biggest “annoyances” I noticed in Game 1 is the 3-point shooting and that the Suns’ bench is suited too perfectly to cut leads. The Suns did miss a lot of perimeter shots they normally make so the Lakers will have to be alert tomorrow in preventing the Suns from gathering rhythm and momentum.