Sixty-six games in 123 days. This unusual season has proved tough for the Lakers. So much doubt surrounded the team at the beginning of this season. That Larry O’Brien trophy seemed far from reach. But now all that criticism and negativity is slowly fading away. It’s amazing what the addition of a solid point guard can do to a team. Ramon Sessions has been averaging 12 points and six assists in 25 minutes. It’s clear basketball is better for the Lakers when Sessions is on the court. Yes they still struggle significantly on the road, but in spite of their troubles the Lakers are climbing up the Western Conference standings. With 19 games left in the season it’s even possible the Lakers could assume that number one seed.
But how do they manage to do it? How is this franchise so resilient, when all odds seem against them?
In an interview with John Ireland and Steve Mason on ESPN radio, Kobe spoke about his relationship with Jim Buss and the resiliency of the Lakers organization:
This is one of those franchises that always seems to land on its feet, always seems to make the right choices, always seems to make the right decisions, even the tough ones.
Kobe could not be more accurate. The Lakers always seem to wiggle their way out of sticky situations. When a championship seems miles away never doubt the little tweaks or trades Mitch Kupchak has up his sleeve. When the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol in 2008 the team was at a standstill in their season. A trade was necessary and the Lakers managed to get rid of Kwame Brown while acquiring an All-Star player who would help lead them to back-to-back title runs. The addition of Ramon Sessions gives me a similar feeling.
I’d always thought the Lakers didn’t need to shake up their core in order to return to a championship caliber team. And now it’s looking like Sessions might have done the trick. He has only played in four games with the Lakers, but the offense is flowing much more smoothly. Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant shot above 60 percent in the impressive road win against Dallas.
It’s only a matter of time before Ramon Sessions will start. For the moment Sessions is a huge spark coming off the bench and he has revitalized Lakers basketball. There is excitement in the air and with the playoffs just around the corner; this newfound energy and excitement could not have come at a better time. Yes the Lakers still have some unanswered questions; their bench production is not good enough right now. But as Kobe said, this team will find a way to land on it its feet, it’s in their blood.
The Lakers face the number-one seeded Oklahoma City next Thursday. This will be a good test for the Lakers, and hopefully the opportunity to remind the league why the Lakers are still the team to fear most.