The number eight holds much more significance to the Lakers than just being Kobe’s old jersey number. The number represents how many road games are left for the team to broadcast a loud and clear message to the other contenders in the league that the championship is going to run through Los Angeles. Currently, the Lakers hold a 20-13 road record, already having one more loss than they had all of last season (29-12).
While the April 8th game at Denver is circled on all of our calendars, I sure hope the team won’t commit the cardinal sin of “looking ahead” this late in the season. Chances are that Cleveland is not going to forfeit the best record in the league much like last year. However, the Lakers have not run away with the West like they did on their way to the NBA title a season ago. This year, Denver and Dallas are proving to be serious threats in the Wild Wild West.
I cannot stress enough though, how intensely focused our boys must be in order to close out the season playing their best basketball – something of a novelty for us these days. While there are only eight road games left, five of them are coming in one hideously wrapped package. The Lakers will face San Antonio (3/24), Oklahoma City (3/26), Houston (3/27), New Orleans (3/29), and Atlanta (3/31) over the span of one week.
While a few days ago, it seemed as though there were absolutely no valid reasons as to why the Lakers shouldn’t go 5-0 on this final extended trip, Andrew Bynum’s strained achille’s tendon injury against Minnesota last Friday just made things a whole lot more interesting to say the least. All we can do is hope that Drew is able to make a full recovery relatively soon. It’s rather frustrating that he always seems to get injured right when he begins to play his best ball, but like I said, we all wish him the best.
Let’s hit the road.