Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  March 8, 2013

The glow of the Lakers’ galvanizing fourth-quarter comeback on Wednesday still lingers but the next bend lies right ahead. It’s a big night for western teams on the playoff fringe. Houston visits Golden State, Utah visits Chicago and the Lakers host Toronto.

What does this mean? Golden State has a two-game edge on Houston, possesses a solid home record and has won two in a row. Utah has a weak road record while Chicago’s coming off a couple tough losses – they’d love a win before heading west (facing the Lakers at Staples on Sunday). As for the Lakers themselves, winning is absolutely everything – currently 1.5 games out of eighth. With the right combo of wins/losses tonight, they could be just a half-game back come midnight.

It’s been a story about numbers lately, written here, there and everywhere. And as the Lakers demonstrated on Wednesday, there may well be a new wrinkle – Dwight Howard says the win brought the team closer together and for a season marked by injuries, inconsistency and conflict, the statement could be more than just words.

Arash Markazi for ESPN brings MWP’s explanation of his support for Dwight (in pure Metta-fashion).

Kevin Ding for the OCRegister brings the power of Dwight’s positive thinking.

Mark Whicker for the OCRegister conveys another plot twist for Antawn Jamison.

Drew Garrison for Silver Screen and Roll breaks down the Kobe-fueled comeback against NO.

Ben Rosales for Silver Screen and Roll examines a matter of heart in his latest Beast or Burden.

Kurt Helin for ProBasketballTalk looks at the math and says Utah should be nervous.

Mike Bresnahan for the LATimes, on the Lakers hope for complimentary figures.

Bill Plaschke for the LATimes on the right decision in keeping Kobe over Shaq.

For Sheridan Hoops, the Kamenetzky Brothers offer their Cali report – heading down the stretch.

Mark Medina for Inside the Lakers explains Dwight’s Posture Shirt.

Elizabeth Benson at Lakers Nation brings video of Kobe on Kimmel.

Max Piner at Lakers Nation has the pregame report for the Lakers vs. Raptors.

***

With just twenty games left in what was once termed a cakewalk season, the Lakers have a shot – to make the playoffs. This is where we find ourselves. Back at Staples, facing a team with a 9 & 22 road record on a night when the western conference schedule is as favorable as could be for a giant step forward. For Dwight Howard, another chance for redemption in front of a home crowd that wants to believe. For Steve Nash, he’ll be facing the team that most people assumed he would sign with during the off-season. It has been a period of willing reinvention for the 39 year-old guard. And for Kobe Bryant, there are no simple ways to convey what he means to the team or the city or the game itself. Tonight, he’ll take to the court once more, Sisyphus with a bad elbow and a glare, just looking for the win.

Dave Murphy

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10 responses to Friday Forum

  1. dave m: do you feel like the horse or do you feel like the jockey? these are questions i ask myself when i see horses and jockeys on the final turn over at santa anita.

    and like you said, with just 20 games left in the regular season, this feels like that final turn and yet we have to ask ourselves, do the lakers look like the horses or do they look like the jockeys. more importantly, does it look like we got the horses to finish, in this case, in the top 8 of the western conference? in six weeks or so, we should know.

    for now, my money’s on the horse.

    and for those of us who believe that even the b side has it’s moments…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTWrsQwF5dE

    Go Lakers

  2. I have to say this year Kobe has truly impressed me.
    Every week he is doing something different to win. He has done it all. He is a leader (I do not see any more articles about if he is or not, he is and everyone agrees, no discussion). 34 years. 17th nba season. And it is the best player I have ever seen.
    I do not know how this season will end. It could be Lakers do not enter the playoffs, but it will not change what Kobe Bryant has done.

  3. Neil: McGrady got the same procedure a year before Kobe and Jermaine O’Neal this offseason. It’s obviously worked for both but something they didn’t have that kobe has all 17 years is work ethic. Years and years of work ethic, tim grover and vitti outweigh a knee procedure kobe got a year ago.

  4. Neil and Kevin,
    Bynum had the same procedure this past summer too. It’s worked out great for him, right? Brandon Roy had it too. He’s doing spectacularly too, isn’t he?

  5. Thank u Darius

  6. david h – I feel like the Lakers are playing Silky Sullivan but Silky didn’t win the Kentucky Derby, did he?

  7. dave m: my uncle says the fix was on……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT_YxcoDhtY

    northern dancer, now there was a great name to a great horse. the best of his generation

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIRmzt4UmMc

    we’re still playing them canadians from toronto tonite?

    Go Lakers

  8. I dunno, Jermaine O’Neal has been shuffling around like a zombie for the last few years, in the last game against the Suns, he looked like at least 60% of his 2002-ish self.

    Weak praise, I know. I was just surprised to see him show any signs of life after being crappy since his knee problems started 5 or 6 years ago.

  9. dave h – northern dancer was indeed great, as was grand pappy native dancer, the grey ghost. those clips are great – I’ve seen them before, the narration is priceless. I’d love to see the lakers go wire-to-wire tonight (alright, I’ll stop now, haha).