Just when you though the chips were down in Laker Land, the boys quelled all preconceived notions with one of the biggest weeks in recent memory.
Here it is, in a nutshell…
Monday, February 2, 2009
- Jason Riley graced the pages of TLN yet again with another installment of Out of Bounds. Jason covered the bases on the Bynum injury–tables included.
- Official word on Andrew Bynum’s MRI came Monday: Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has a torn right MCL and will be sidelined eight to 12 weeks, the team announced Monday. Still no word on rehab, however, it’s been noted that MCL injuries rarely require surgical intervention.
- With all of that fresh in mind, the Lakers took the floor at The Garden… and history happened. Kobe Bryant set the Madison Square Garden scoring record, posting 61 points on 19-31 from the field and a perfect 20-20 from the stripe in the Lakers’ 126-117 win. Pau Gasol scored the quietest 31 points in the history of the NBA, but it was Kobe’s night. MVP chants rained down on MSG as we all got another glimpse into the greatness of this man’s career. Here’s the post-game presser.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
- Brickley and G discussed the feat on Episode #21 of Voice of the Nation.
- On top of everything, Kobe was named Western Conference Player of the Month for January, averaging 27.2 points, 7.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
- Laker legends, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West were honored at the Coliseum with a commemorative bronze plaque. “Jerry West was Fire. Elgin Baylor was Ice.”
- The Lakers headed north of the border for their lone international contest of the season, and it didn’t disappoint. The Lakers won the game 115-107, outscoring the Raps by 10 in the fourth. Kobe followed up his 61 with 36 and Pau followed up his 31 and 14 with 31 and 15. Despite the performances, the sheer weight of the following night’s game in Boston seemed to overshadow everything.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
- Entwined in the Boston hype, Phil Jackson made the comment “We certainly won’t sit back and just assume (the best). “We’ll talk about it. We’ll try to improve the club if there’s a necessary thing to do. That’s what you have to do in this business.” This would sure ring true come Saturday…
- Alas, the day had come. The Lakers took the floor at the very place they had been knocked out of the NBA Finals some eight months ago. Thursday’s game was the closest the Lakers could possibly come to revenge in the regular season, and without Andrew Bynum, they delivered. In THE most entertaining game of the season thus far, the Lakers walked out of the TD Banknorth Garden with a 110-109 overtime victory.
- This quote gets its own bullet: “Last year they took it from us, and I’m not going to live with that,” said Bryant. “I’m not going to sit here and let this team get punked any more.”
Friday, February 6, 2009
- The Boston-Los Angeles game drew TNT’s biggest ratings since 1996.
- Lamar Odom, who scored 20 in Boston, was written out of trade rumors by Mitch Kupchak, Friday.
- Steve Aschburner of SI explored the very ‘What if KG had come to the Lakers?‘ scenario that launched TLN in the summer of 2007 as GetGarnett.com. Interesting read.
- Kobe is featured on the cover of the latest pressing of ESPN The Magazine. His first love? Soccer.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
- Phil had some rather Jacksonian statements regarding LeBron going into Sunday’s game: “They’re awful good on their home court,” Jackson said. “All their people wear a crown and they all wear No. 23 and help him throw that [chalk dust] up in the air when he’s at the scorer’s desk. He gets away with murder, on top of it, on his home court.”
- NBA.com gives the Lakers an “A” on their midseason report card.
- D-Bricks flew solo with all things Lakers over Boston for the very first VOTN Special Edition podcast.
- More big news dropped mid-day Saturday, as it was announced that Vladimir Radmanovic was sent to Charlotee in exchange for Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown. The Nation responded, I called for ‘Mustache Revolution 2009,’ and the first Morrison-as-a-Laker ‘shopped image came out. Morrison and Brown are expected to dress Tuesday.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
- “The Lakers became the first team in NBA history to win back-to-back games, both on the road, against teams with .800-plus win percentage at least 40 games into the season.” [ESPN] That feat was attained after the Lakers capped off their fairy-tale road trip in Cleveland, Sunday. Lamar Odom carried the weight, posting a season high 28 points and 17 rebounds in the Lakers’ 101-91 win. An ailing Kobe Bryant helped hold LeBron James to 16 points, and Pau Gasol chipped in with 18 and 12. No doubt, a perfect ending to a perfect 6-0 road trip.
Here’s a look at the upcoming week of Lakers Basketball…
Tuesday (2/10) – Oklahoma City @ Lakers
Wednesday (2/11) – Lakers @ Utah