It seems like it was just yesterday when Charles Barkley would roll his eyes and say that the Los Angeles Lakers would not make the playoffs this year. Fans were losing hope, waiting for Mitch Kupchak to have yet another trick up his sleeve. Many opposing fans were enjoying their time as they watched the team they despise have a terrible season.
The Lakers have finally set a foot inside of the 2013 playoffs after defeating the Chicago Bulls, who sit at the 5th spot in the East, at the Staples Center 90 to 81. This time there was no dramatic comeback as the Lakers led and had control of the game most of the way. After a great performance by Kobe Bryant against the Toronto Raptors, he did not score 40 or 30 points. This win was an overall team effort, which is what the Lakers will need the most if they stay in the playoffs.
It was a convincing win by the Lakers over the Bulls with a total of six players in double digits. Kobe led the way with 19 points and 9 assists. Both Dwight Howard and Steve Nash had 16 points each. Metta World Peace added 12 points and Earl Clark seemed to have found his groove again having 11 points. From the bench it was Jodie Meeks who delivered 10 points. With the win the Lakers are now half a game in front of the Utah Jazz.
The Utah Jazz have fallen out of the playoffs but they have not said goodbye. They are still in position to take their playoff spot back. The Lakers need to continue winning to avoid finding themselves outside of the playoffs again. Los Angeles can also look to maybe go up to the 6th or 7th seed. The Houston Rockets are currently at the 7th seed only a game ahead of the Lakers while the Golden State Warriors are the the 6th spot, just two games ahead. The Warriors and Rockets both have their next games at home. Warriors play the New York Knicks and the Rockets take on the Phoenix Suns.
Lakers take the floor again when they visit Dwight’s formal team, the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. It will definitely be interesting to see the reception Dwight will receive from the fans. Will Dwight receive a Lebron James type of reception when he returned to Cleveland? Or will Dwight receive a reception that is better or worse?