Monday, February 16, 2009

Kobe Bryant and a *statement* game at MSG

When Andrew Bynum went down with a torn MCL on January 31st, the Lakers were shocked and disappointed with the news.  Their emerging star center was hurt and it was a serious blow to their playoff hopes.  

The next game Kobe Bryant turned on the power and scored 61 points at New York, setting the single-game record at the modern Madison Square Garden.  They played hard and played well throughout the road trip.  

Now they are back home.  The question is this: when will the sense of urgency wear off?  Has their play been boosted by a temporary feeling of nervousness and a need to prove that they are an elite team even without Bynum?

An injury to a player or being short handed can often spur greater effort from everyone else; but that will wear off as fatigue sets in and players return to their normal level of effort and play, perhaps even dipping lower than normal.  

So as we go forward with the next week or two, can we expect an extra lakers loss or two?  Or at least see them not cover the spread?  

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