Jan 24, 2010

The Importance of January

Over the past month or so Kobe has been getting pretty banged up. He injured his index finger on his shooting hand, requiring a fat bandage whenever he plays. He had back spasms during a Spurs game and his lift has not been the same since - he passed up a wide open dunk for an awkward roll-around-the-rim layup against the Knicks this past Friday.

Media folk have asked Kobe why he doesn't rest and try to get better for the playoffs, especially since the team is in good shape record wise. His answer is always dismissive, almost as if he's offended at the idea of needing time off to heal like a mere mortal. I recently read a report where Kobe was asked something like "Why don't you sit and rest to heal yourself?" to which he replied "Why would I?" The report then gushes about how competitive Kobe is and how Kobe is being Kobe ad nauseum.

Huh? How about the simple fact that YOU DON'T WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN JANUARY? I haven't heard anyone mention this. Kobe should rest. We can feature Gasol or Bynum in all our offensive possessions and be better than any team we face.

Speaking of those bigs, the Lakers should bench Bynum and start Lamar. Gasol can once again be our ridiculous low-post threat. Our bench would be a lot less dependent on streaky 3-point shots when we can feed Bynum inside. I don't understand why this lineup hasn't been explored. I hope its not because of Bynum's contract and a way of showcasing him (there have been Bosh trade rumors...).

Of course the team will stay the course. Kobe will continue playing through his injury, Bynum and Gasol will continue to start together, I will continue to be frustrated at times. As long as we get home court I'll be happy.