With the best record in the league, Lakers don’t have a lot of marquee games left…
Article by Mark Heisler, a friend of ours here at TLN.
L.A. Times: Now for the dog days, that point at midseason when it starts to seem endless, unless you’re Shaquille O’Neal, whose dog days used to start around Dec. 15.
For Lakers fans, things to look forward to include . . . uh . . . how about that All-Star game, with Kobe Bryant and O’Neal together again! Talk about excitement. Tune in Sunday as O’Neal reveals that he and Kobe pretended to feud to sell newspapers, noting the industry’s decline since they split up.
As for the present, it shapes up like Tuesday night’s game in which the Lakers, back from their triumphant trip, dispatched the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-98. The Lakers are through with the big three in the East and have one game left with San Antonio and New Orleans. After tonight’s game in Utah, they get a well-earned rest over the All-Star break, except for Bryant and Pau Gasol, who look forward to attending the game, and Phil Jackson, who doesn’t.
With the best record and control of ties with Boston and Cleveland, the Lakers have yet to put it all together and they’re on a 68-win pace. Being the best in February doesn’t mean much more than being the best in January, or December. On the other hand, if Doc Rivers, Mike Brown and Stan Van Gundy had their choice of teams, I’d bet they’d all take the same one.
The Lakers’ wins in Boston and Cleveland will have the Celtics and Cavaliers talking to themselves for months.