Los Angeles Lakers Legit Title Contenders?
A week earlier, (Dwyane) Wade had broken (Kobe) Bryant’s nose and given him a concussion in the NBA’s All-Star game. Now, Bryant was getting his form of payback, scoring 33 points in an eventual 93-83 victory over the Heat that suddenly has the Lakers thinking they still deserve to stand among Wade, LeBron James and the rest of the league’s elite teams.
“It’s just understanding what our strengths are and playing to that,” Bryant said. “The real testament for any championship team is knowing what your weaknesses are and cover those, protect those, stay with what your strengths are in that department.”
The Lakers have won eight of their past 10 games, including all three since the All-Star break, despite Bryant still feeling the affects of Wade’s foul. In addition to playing with a mask to protect his nose, Bryant also has been bothered by loud noises since he was injured – an unfortunate problem given the fact that he works in loud arenas. After the victory over the Heat, he squinted while answering reporters’ questions because of the bright lights in the interview room.