MMPG: Team of the Week
Los Angeles Lakers
The week began with the bad, but not completely terrible news that center Andrew Bynum was going to be out the next eight to 12 weeks with a torn right medial collateral ligament; the bright spot being that the injury likely wasn't season-ending. But the Los Angeles Lakers went on to win four games in a row and make some history along the way, defeating New York, Toronto, Boston and Cleveland, and reminding people that this team still advanced to the NBA Finals last season without Bynum.
Bryant made the most noise last week when he dropped a season-high 61 points on the Knicks and set a Madison Square Garden scoring record. He averaged 35.5 points in the four wins, but Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom provided the necessary support -- especially in wins against the defending champion Celtics (when Bryant had a poor shooting night) and the Cavaliers (when Bryant had the flu). Overall, Gasol averaged 26 points and 13.8 rebounds in the four wins, while Odom averaged 24 points and 11.5 rebounds in victories in Boston and Cleveland.
The Lakers became the first team in NBA history to win back-to-back games against teams with .800-plus win percentage at least 40 games into the season. They snapped the Celtics' 12-game winning streak, and became the first team to win in Cleveland all season, halting a string of 23 consecutive games. The Lakers finished their road trip with a perfect 6-0 record; the franchise's first 6-0 trip since 1999-2000, when they won the first of three consecutive NBA titles.
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Posted by: rmcazz | February 9, 2009 10:02 AM
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