The Los Angeles Lakers have hit the ground hard various times throughout their 2012-2013 season. The team went 0-8 during the preseason. Early in the season, the Lakers fired their head coach Mike Brown for lack of team production and progress? Many fans were then upset when the Lakers’ management appeared to have snubbed fan favorite Phil Jackson. Jackson had given some indication that he would consider returning to the Lakers. No returned phone call to Phil Jackson and the rest is history. Basketball fans observed as the Lakers hit the ground hard when they passed on their former head coach Phil Jackson. Mike D’Antoni was selected as the Lakers new head coach. “Bah Humbug” many Lakers fans cried.
With another dramatic NBA season drawing to a close, this column takes a look at the main contenders for the big awards that are on offer:
Most Valuable Player:
- LeBron James, Miami Heat.
- 26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.3 APG.
There isn't much doubt about this award. LeBron has been nothing short of mind blowing this season. He is the best player in the NBA by some margin and has demonstrated it again this season. Many thought LeBron may become a bit complacent this season, having won everything there was to win in the game last season. That has been far from the case. James has led by example for this talented Heat team that narrowly missed out on the all-time winning streak, finally being defeated with the streak at 27. James has been wrapped in cotton wool towards the latter stages of the season as they clinched the number one Playoff seed in the Eastern Conference a long time ago. It will take a monumental effort for anyone to prize the NBA trophy from James and the Heat as they look to repeat.
2. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks.
- 28.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.6 APG.
In all likelihood Derrick Rose’s potential return to the Chicago Bulls for the upcoming NBA postseason would be a useless endeavor. Rose who has not played since tearing his ACL in the first game of last season’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers would not be in game shape when the playoffs begin on April 20th. His lack of game activity this season would put him at a disadvantage, as he would be playing against men who have been active all season and ready for the rigors of the postseason.
Anyone who follows the NBA knows the game changes when the playoffs arrive each spring. Games become more physical and mentally demanding, often testing the endurance limit of the players competing to win a NBA championship. It would be unfair of the Bulls to insert Rose into the lineup at this time.
A teary eyed Kobe Bryant gave possibly his last postgame interview of the season, early Saturday morning, after a 118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant described the injury that forced him to leave the game as probably being a torn achilles.
There is still some hope for Lakers fans that it’s not an achilles injury, Bryant will have a MRI done Saturday to confirm the injury. But Kobe doesn’t seem too optimistic. He said he knew right away what the injury was and when asked if he could possibly play with the injury Bryant replied “I can’t walk”.
After so long watching the 'Black Mamba', is anybody surprised?
When the business end of the season comes along, Kobe Bryant can always be counted on for match-winning performances when it matters most. Last night was no exception. With the Lakers just half a game ahead of the Utah Jazz for the final Play off place in the Western Conference, it was critical that they continued their good form on the road against an inexperienced Portland side.
Thanks to Bryant, the Lakers were able to do just that.
The Lakers emerged from a close fought encounter with a vital 113-106 victory. Bryant was nothing short of sensational. His stat line was off the charts. 47 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. What was more impressive though was that Bryant played all 48 minutes of the game, refusing to rest as he drove the Lakers past the winning post. Everybody watching Basketball over the last few years has been waiting for Bryant to slow down and for his considerable talent to fade as his age and minutes increased.