It was all too familiar with the same buzzer beating shot like an overused tape being rewind over and over again. Kobe Bryant displayed another breathtaking fade away jump shot in the dying seconds in regulation against two Toronto defenders escaping a precarious two point win 109-107 in front of the sellout Los Angeles crowd. It halted the Lakers 3 game losing skid and put a stop to the bleeding as the defending champions barely escape a fourth embarrassing defeat. They say that the most difficult in winning a basketball championship is defending it and Phil Jackson knows that pretty well having gone through the whole process in Chicago and had a record of 10 championship rings on his banner. The 3 game slumps serve as a wakeup call for the Lakers and with barely 20 games remaining the competition is going to be tough going to the playoffs. Kobe had been the Lakers savior and the go to guy in the final seconds of the game. The 6 winning basket shots were not coincidence it’s an implication of how tough the competition the Lakers have to gone through this season.
Offense isn’t a problem with most of the guys can shoot and score if they want to they just need some good defense. The once labeled soft team seems to find difficulty defending the pick and roll and their lackluster performance on lesser known teams such as Indiana and Charlotte. “We scored a lot of points tonight. That’s not going to win championships. You’ve got to stop people.” Kobe Bryant said after their Toronto game. Maybe this game could bring the spark back to the Lakers.
They are still the number 1 team in the West ahead of the surging Dallas but they mostly struggle with teams coming from the East with Cleveland, Charlotte, Orlando and Miami. It’s still a long way before playoffs and Kobe doesn’t care if most of the games are decided on some dying seconds he is willing and happy to shoot it out… A blow out or a close competitive game what matters is it’s a win. They will have to find their defensive mojo back because defense wins games and for the Lakers it wins another championship banner to their eminent franchise.