Friday, February 8, 2008


Big win in Orlando tonight, and an entertaining game - lots of scoring, lead swings, and a solid final result. Pau is a perfect fit in the triangle, with his passing and ability to hit the elbow jumper, and it seems that Lamar can fit in with this team also. He's playing a Marion type of role now, floating, hitting the occasional shot, driving when there are lanes, rebounding the ball - and honestly, I think he likes it that way. The big test will be seeing how the Lakers adjust to Bynum's return.

The most entertaining thing about watching this team lately, though, is Kobe Bryant's rejuvenation. In the games since the trade was announced, he's gone to another planet. Kobe hasn't tried to just dunk on people since around 2004, in his streak of 40-point games, and at points the season just after Shaq was traded. Practically speaking, it's just too tiring to try to pull off those kind of moves all the time. (If it weren't so tiring, we'd see LeBron dunking 30 times a night - I honestly think he can get to the rim anytime he wants to.)

In the past few games, though, Kobe's suddenly become 25 again. He's dunking on people. He's zooming back downcourt in his airplane pose. He's spinning around (needlessly) when he hits an open man in the corner, just to add a little pizazz. Kobe Bryant is having fun again. He believes this team can win a championship, and he is just enjoying being on the floor.

When all of Kobe's toys get back on the floor, the serious work can start. For now, it's just playtime - and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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