April 1, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant (24) on the bench before the game against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Starring: Kobe Bryant during clutchtime. All season the Lakers had been losing big leads late in games. It was incredibly frustrating to watch, and a sense of dread washed over us anytime crunch time rolled around. However, things have gradually improved and although we still lose leads, the difference now is the Lakers have been able to close out games. Earlier in the season it wouldn't be surprising to see many botched plays or Kobe isos and misses. The contrast has been night and day when it comes to late game execution:
In Wednesday's big win over the Clippers, Bryant hit two clutch jumpers, one to give the Lakers the lead with 3:02 left and another to seal the victory with 25 seconds on the clock. A night earlier, he pretty much did the same thing against the Nets with two jumpers in the final 1:11.
Two nights before that, in Sunday's win over the Warriors, Bryant hit a big 3-pointer in the final two minutes. And back on Saturday, after missing those first 15 shots, he hit the game-winner with 20 seconds left.
Now, go back to last Tuesday, when Bryant hit the game-tying jumper, and then another to give the Lakers the lead in the final minute at Golden State.
Five wins in six games for the Lakers, and eight straight makes for Bryant in clutch time.
Looks like what the Lakers were missing earlier in the season was practice time to get the offense right. Our offense is clicking right now, and we look like a completely different team compared to the beginning of the season.
Much more after the jump...
- Lakers host Houston on Friday - latimes.com
- Lakers Friday preview: vs. Houston Rockets (29-25) - Lakers blog : The Orange County Register
- Three is (probably) a magic number - Lakers Blog - ESPNLA
- Lakers seem locked at No. 3 in the Western Conference - latimes.com
- Lakers Daily News: April 5, 2012 | Lakers Nation
- Kobe’s Clutch Again " NBA.com | Hang Time Blog
- Shaqtin’ A Fool: Episode 11 " NBA.com | Hang Time Blog
- Blogtable: Van Gundy vs. Dwight " NBA.com | Hang Time Blog
- Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy Confirms Report, Dwight Howard Wants Him Gone! " NBA.com | Hang Time Blog
- Takeaways from the battle of L.A. - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
- Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins calls Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin 'actor' after matchup - ESPNLA
- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers says 'no doubt' Chicago Bulls should extend Tom Thibodeau's deal - ESPN Chicago
- Things Only Get Worse For Dwight, Magic - Daily Dime - ESPN
- 2012 NBA draft -- Syracuse Orange's Fab Melo declares for draft - ESPN
- Orlando Magic's Stan Van Gundy -- Dwight Howard wants me fired - ESPN
- Have the 76ers tuned out Doug Collins?
- Inside the Sixers: answering the why " Writing & Hoops
- Cousins accuses Blake Griffin of being "actor," faking fouls
- Baseline to Baseline recaps: Bulls win another without Rose
- Orlando’s other problem: They are not good right now, get run by Knicks
- Van Gundy, Howard, Magic GM meet and nothing is changing. For now.
- Derrick Rose says he is out Thursday, will play Sunday vs. Knicks
- Dwight Howard is mad at Stan Van Gundy for telling everyone he wants him fired | Ball Don't Lie
- Courtney Lee says a Rockets teammate hit him, which Kevin McHale denies | Ball Don't Lie
- Karl Malone and Utah Jazz owner Greg Miller have kissed and made up | Ball Don't Lie
- Milwaukee Bucks forward helps man make marriage proposal (VIDEO) | Ball Don't Lie
- Portland’s weird rebuilding process includes a fan revolt, a .500 record, and signing an All-Star | Ball Don't Lie
- Agent: Greg Oden Not Thinking of Retiring from the NBA
- Derrick Rose Plans to Play on Sunday vs New York Knicks
- Stan Van Gundy Expecting to Finish Season as Orlando’s Head Coach
- Doc Rivers Called Celtics’ Effort in Loss to Bulls ‘a Crime’
- Tim Duncan Not Ready to Walk Away from the Game
- Post Up: Disappearing Act
Other Blogs and Links:
- Lakers vs. Rockets Pre-Game Report: A Potential Playoff Preview | Lakers Nation
- Pau Gasol Unaffected By Blake Griffin - Lake Show Life
- Mike Brown Says Kobe Bryant is Being Overlooked in MVP Race | Lakers Nation
- Kobe Bryant says he's not worried about Lakers' blown leads - Inside the Lakers
- Kobe Bryant Wearing Walking Boot for Shin Injury | Lakers Nation
- The Point Forward " Posts Takeaways from Lakers-Clippers show "
- Things of Note for April 6, 2012 | The Basketball Jones
- Has Dwight Howard surpassed LeBron James as the NBA’s ultimate villain? | The Basketball Jones
- Pau Gasol doesn’t want to watch Blake Griffin’s dunks | The Basketball Jones
- The Point Forward " Posts Dwight Howard circus hits rock bottom "
- Van Gundy plays the honesty card in game of poker he can't win - NBA - CBSSports.com
- DeMarcus Cousins says Blake Griffin is an 'actor' that fakes fouls - CBSSports
- Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal blast off on Magic, Van Gundy, Howard - CBSSports
- Knicks coach Mike Woodson to J.R. Smith: Stop sagging your shorts - CBSSports