Listen up all you nay sayers and doubters, the LA Lakers have made the postseason! Yes, it is true, and yes, it is hard to believe, but the most dramatic, up and down, roller coaster-of-a-season, team made the post season, and will continue their dramatics against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs, as of lately have shown their vulnerability, and this instantly makes this first round matchup a must watch.
Does Kobe Bryant being hurt make this playoff appearance for the Lakers more or less interesting for the fans? I’ve got to go with more. With Kobe, we all expect the same outcome: A valiant effort going 6-7 games with the Spurs, where Kobe dominates the shot attempts stat and averages about 30 PPG. However, without him, the Lakers are going to have to show that they can work through all their bumps and try and make some sort of “Cinderella” run. Who would’ve thought the Lakers, in the Kobe Bryant era, would ever need to be spoken of as an underdog and a Cinderella.
The most important factor of Kobe Bryant being hurt, is what Dwight Howard can do now that the spotlight is on him. Dwight’s contract is up after this season and it is a BIG question as to whether he is going to return to Los Angeles or not. This playoff appearance is similar to every other playoff appearance Dwight Howard has made. He is now the number one man on the team, the focus of all the media, and the reliant player of the rest of his teammates. The problem is, he is not a dominant scorer. He is a big man, who yes, can score, but is better known for his size, rebounding ability, lack of free throw shooting skills, and big dunk ability. So this will be a true test of Dwight’s character and skill. The pressure is on. Many people are saying that this postseason will determine what Dwight’s future with the team will be.
But what will be considered a success? They are a 7 seed without their star player who barley got into the playoffs. Most teams in these situations are expected to be eliminated in a maximum of 6 games. However, these are the Lakers, the Yankees of basketball, and people have high hopes. What they can do now is in the hands of Dwight, Steve, and Pau. What can they do? NBA playoofs should be exciting.