The Lakers pulled out what may be their most emotional win of the entire season with their last second victory over the Houston Rockets tonight. Steve Blake’s game-winning three pointer was one of the best shots any Laker has hit over the past few years.
As expected, the focus for many was on the Lakers gaining over Dwight Howard, who left the team this offseason. Center Pau Gasol, however, didn’t feel the Dwight revenge factor was that big of a deal:
It’s not necessarily beating Dwight, it’s beating Houston. They’re a good team, they’re 4-2, we’re 3-3 right now […] It doesn’t have a special really meaning because Dwight made the decision he made and now he’s with this team and not with us so there’s no hard feelings or grudges there, at least not with me
Gasol had a pretty bad game with only two points on 1-10 shooting, but his feeling echoes that of many on the team. With the season so early, the Lakers have to focus on the big picture as opposed to simple revenge games, especially with the Western Conference being so tough this season.
With the Lakers bringing in so many new players like Wesley Johnson, Nick Young, and Jordan Farmar, many of them never even had the opportunity to play with Howard. The revenge factor was much more of a media driven thing than in the locker room itself.
The Lakers have such an uphill climb to make the playoffs this season that they must move on quickly, even from emotional victories like this one. They have to get right back on the floor tomorrow against the Pelicans tomorrow so it will be imperative that the Lakers, much like Gasol, hold no grudges and get ready for the next game.
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