For those of you who were ready to crown the Clippers rulers of L.A. I have to go Lee Corso and give you a “not so fast, my friend”. Kobe Bryant is on fire. He has now scored over 40 points in each of the last three games. The first two of them were on back to back nights. Not bad for an old man in his 16th NBA Season. The Lakers have won five in a row to run their record to 9-4. They will battle for L.A supremacy tonight against the Clippers.
The Clippers are off to a good start as well after obtaining Chris Paul right before the season started. They beat the Lakers in both pre-season games giving their fans a reason to get excited as the regular season started. They have not disappointed thus far. They are 5-3 thus far coming off a nice win against Miami. Their scheduling so far has been fairly easy, only playing three times a week. They have four next week but three are at home. This worked out well for them I think, giving them more practice time to work with their new point guard. We will see tonight if it has paid off. They will be facing a red hot Kobe Bryant, the early favorite for the MVP.
The Lakers have not exactly been knocking off giants in the five game win streak. They have beaten the Warriors 97-90, Memphis 90-82, Phoenix 90-82, Utah 90-87 and Cleveland 97-92. The next four are the Clippers, Dallas, Miami and Orlando. So this is a big stretch for them. After the Orlando game, they come home to face a tough Indiana squad and then another game with the Clippers.
Kobe is carrying the Lakers on his back. Even with his forty plus points the Lakers have not broken 100 points in any of them. How long can he carry them at his age? Maybe now that opposing teams see that it is a one man show, they will concentrate on Kobe, and Gasol and others will step up. Regardless, this little L. A. rivalry is going to be interesting. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin definitely have the star power to compete in the big market.
The game tonight will be televised on NBA TV. It should be a good one. One thing to look for is, since it is a “Clippers home game”, to see who the crows is rooting for. Traditionally, many Laker fans buy season tickets for the Clippers just to be there for Lakers “road games.” This might not be the case any longer. The Clippers may actually have a home court advantage now. This should be a good show.