To my friends and family, I'm that one kid that always loved the Los Angeles Lakers growing up. I'm essentially the black sheep of the family when it comes to the NBA and my choice of team, and I'm okay with that. But what they may not realize is that it's not easy for me to watch the hometown Golden State Warriors play so disgustingly. As much as I enjoy it when the Lakers win, it's still painful to watch the Warriors struggle - a fight they've been losing for the last 20-plus years. So when my Lakers came into town to play the Warriors, I was more than ready to sit back and watch.
Not surprisingly, the Warriors lived up to their reputation of falling behind early, only to rally back and end up losing the game in some dramatic fashion. The Warriors were down by as many as 16 at one point, but made a comeback and ended up acquiring their one and only lead of the game with just one-minute and 22 seconds left. After that point, it was Kobe Bryant to the rescue for the Lakers. He made not one, but two consecutive jumpers with defenders in his face to put the Lakers up for good.
Before I get going on Bryant, I'd like to issue this disclaimer: "Kobe Bryant is not Michael Jordan." (But he certainly is as close as anyone will ever get.)
Bryant is not just one of the greatest players to ever play the game, but he is also one of the greatest closers. Want to know the difference between a great player and a great closer? Take a look at LeBron James of the Miami Heat and then look at Bryant. Both players put up big numbers, but one of them has the killer instinct to finish games (Bryant) and the other doesn't (James).
Regardless, what Bryant did against the Warriors was just vintage Kobe. He strategically avoided a double team on one of the shots and the other he put up right in the face of his defender. Those kinds of instinctual moves are part of what makes Bryant the best at what he does.
As for some of the drama from the game, Mike Brown seems to have gotten bench-happy recently as he sat Andrew Bynum because he didn't like the way he was playing. The benching came just one game after benching Bryant in their 102-96 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Essentially, Brown thought Bynum wasn't playing right and didn't like how the team was playing when Bynum was on the floor.
So, in limited minutes, Bynum scored just 11 points and pulled in five rebounds. I will admit that I was pretty confused by Bynum's three-point attempt in the third quarter, but I don't think it should have been a reason to bench him. I'm also not too sure if this is Brown's way of doing things, but I don't think it's going to be too effective on any of the Lakers' superstars.
The Lakers will head home to prepare to host the Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder on March 29. As for the Warriors, they host the New Orleans Hornets on the back-end of a back-to-back on March 28.
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
NBA.com. Lakers vs. Warriors Recap. NBA 2012.
More from David Mehrwein and the Yahoo! Contributor Network:
- Kobe Bryant
- Golden State Warriors
- the Warriors
- the Lakers