Kobe Bryant Leads the Lakers in the Push for the Playoffs

Lakers?  I take back every bad thing I said about you before the All-Star break.  Holy smokes was that domination over the Spurs.  THAT is championship basketball.  But before we look at Lakers/Spurs, let's take a look back at last week. 

I was a little worried about Lakers/Thunder.  OKC is fast.  But the Lakers demonstrated why they are the two time defending champs.  They controlled the tempo of the game and even when they were down by 14 they did not panic.  They fought their way back and exposed the one flaw the Thunder have right now.  The Thunder cannot close.  When they learn how to do that (and it will be sooner rather than later) they will be a championship contender.  But the Lakers hung tough, especially in the last couple of minutes, didn't panic and got the win.  This is not the last LA has seen of OKC, trust me. 

Lakers vs. Minnesota—I expect nothing less than a win this time of year.  Same with Charlotte.

But before we get to San Antonio, I have to talk about Miami.  In my opinion they are not the Lakers' biggest threat out of the East, but rather the Celtics and the Bulls.  

The Celtics need no introduction.  However, the Bulls are playing terrific basketball lately. They have a legitimate star in Derrick Rose, and you under-estimate Joakim Noah at your peril.  Trust me, my Bruin teams have been on the losing side against him more than I care to admit.  But I have to give him credit for terrific hustle and an emotional engagement in each game that carries over to his teammates. They are working hard, playing hard and it shows.  

And then you have Miami.  Talk about karma catching up to you.

Miami is never going to win a championship they way they are now.  Every time I've seen Miami play and they are in a crunch time position, there are a couple of plays w...

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