Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his three pointer with an assist from Kobe Bryant #24 during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Nash and Bryant have effectively switched roles the past two games.
Before the New Orleans Pelicans intimidate the league with their new brut mascot next season, the New Orleans Hornets have a date with the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s game pits two teams coming off big wins. The hometown LA Lakers are coming off a much-needed victory over the defending Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder. The NO Hornets’ road win against the Memphis Grizzlies, a place where the Lakers were blown out less than a week ago, may be more impressive than the Lakers’ highly publicized victory. One argument is that the Hornets won on the road.
With their latest upset, the Hornets now have eight wins in their last 12 games, including an impressive victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Focusing on the ridiculous Pelicans mascot name slights that this team is playing winning basketball since Eric Gordon returned from injury. In the month since Gordon returned, the Hornets have won nine times. In the two months Gordon sat out to start the season, the Hornets only managed six wins. The Hornets have been a different team since Eric Gordon returned, and that team is a winning team.
The Lakers have their own game-changer, and his name is Kobe Bryant.
Bryant has taken over the offense and converted his role into one of a distributor rather than a scorer. The results have been undeniable, as the Lakers broke their losing curse and finally started playing entertaining basketball that is yielding results.
For the past two games, the Lakers have looked good, and Bryant has looked great.
For a career shooter to suddenly pass off 28 assists over two games is incredible. More incredible was the Mamba’s ability to still shoot at nearly 70 percent from the field after cutting his shot attempts by half of his season average.
Earlier in the season, Bryant tried to will this team to victories by scoring, but the Lakers were unable to put together wins. Now, with Bryant working to create shots for his teammates, his team is winning, and No. 24 is beginning to draw comparisons to No. 32.
Can Kobe Johnson do this all season long? Will the Lakers continue their winning streak?
Find out when the Lake Show resumes at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday night.