Whether you’re in school or caught up in the daily grind of the working world, when has rest and time off ever been considered a detrimental thing? We all want it because we all recognize the value in it.
The Lakers, keeping in line with their next round opponent, the Phoenix Suns, decisively seized a golden opportunity to earn a blissful seven days off by completing a 4-0 sweep of the Utah Jazz Monday night.
For those of you that may be concerned with the potential side effects of such a lengthy hiatus, consider the benefits of having a week off from playing intense playoff basketball as well, especially for the slew of banged up players like Kobe, Drew, Lamar, Ron, and Sasha.
We can’t discard the fact that since the break between Game 4 and 5 of the OKC series in which the Lakers had their first set of a full two days off, the Mamba has scored over 30 points in each of the last six playoff games while shooting above 50% from the field – a return to form so to speak. The team is 6-0 in that span as well if you needed any more reassurance.
If you’re wondering how I can compare two days off to seven, I’m not. What I’m saying is more affixed on the notion that we need our collective roster to be as close to 100% as they can possibly get. The substantial need for a healthy Kobe Bryant goes without saying.
Remember, this next series with the Suns is not where the road ends by any stretch of the imagination, should the Lakers prevail. We must stay tuned into the long run and how this hard-earned rest can reap huge dividends for the team as they hopefully play well into June.
Before the Utah series got under way, I made it clear that I was a proponent of finishing the Jazz off in no more than five games because I really felt, and still do support the idea of having abundant time to physically recoup. I’m sure we all recall Kobe grimacing in pain during Monday night’s clincher following an inadvertent swipe at his mangled index finger by Kyrylo Fesenko – enough so that he even had to call for a timeout.
That is precisely the kind of freak play that we should all want to avoid and who knows what could have happened in a Game 5 or Game 6 had the Jazz series been extended?
I couldn’t be more ecstatic that we have the luxury of merely speculating rather than having to observe.
NEXT: Falling out of rhythm.
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