Watching the Lakers/Houston game tonight, it became more apparent than ever that Kobe is insanely good when he wants to be. The last few minutes he was in during the fourth quarter were some of the best I've seen all season. He just murdered the Rockets. They had been hanging around all game - and they are quite good, I might add - but then Kobe comes in and the following sequence of events took place:
1) Kobe hits a ridiculous jump shot from the baseline while behind the backboard.
2) Kobe hits a hotly contested three point shot.
3) Kobe comes down on the very next possession and hits another hotly contested three point shot.
This is why the Lakers, and not the Cavs (who were blown out by the Magic tonight after losing to the Washington-Goddamned-Wizards last night) will win the NBA title. I don't care that the Cavs have only lost once at home. That one loss came against the Lakers. When Kobe decides to win a game now, the Lakers usually do. Watching the Cavs the last two nights, Lebron, as good as he is, isn't quite there yet. I think the Lakers will come through this year in the playoffs. They're considerably harder than they were last year, as they seem to know how to hold on in close games now. They're defense is much better. They really lost to the Celtics last year in part to their lack of aggressiveness in the front court - that's not there anymore. Odom pulls down 20 rebounds sometimes, and Pau has a bunch of awesome moves in his post game. Their bench is tougher. I think this is the year that Kobe finally gets the monkey off of his back for never having won a championship without Shaq.