The Return of Pau and Other Helpful Things

Pau Gasol is said to be playing for the first time in what feels like an eternity tonight.  The Lakers should have no problem easing him back into the lineup against a pretty terrible Wizards team.  I assume this game will see Pau play about 15-20 minutes and have him get up as many shots as possible to get a feel for real game play again.  I know it sounds weird, but I am sure that shooting in practice or even during a scrimmage is much different than the actual game shooting.

The other big return tonight will be from Kobe Bryant.  He has missed the last two game due to a pretty gnarly ankle injury.  When he actually hurt himself, I thought for sure that he was going to be out for a full two weeks or so.  But, it wouldn't be Kobe if he wasn't playing on something that was hurt.  You don't play 17 years in the league at the top of the profession without a few dozen nagging injuries.  Expect Kobe to play a full game.  He won't play every minute, but I am sure he will play at least 35 minutes tonight.

The Lakers hold a game and a half lead on Utah for the 8th seed in the West.  Also, they are only a game and a half out of the 7th seed and two and a half out of the 6th seed.  Both teams ahead of them are still within reach and could potentially be overtaken.  I have been wondering who the Lakers would rather face in the first round of the playoffs.  I am sure they are going to say that it doesn't matter who they play, but I know they want to avoid Oklahoma City in the first round.  OKC seems to have the Lakers number and until they change that I am gonna say let's try and stay away from the Thunder in the first round.

That all being said, what playoff team wants to see the Lakers in the first round?  Not one of them.  The Eastern conference is so lucky, because they have maybe two teams that could actually win that conference.  The bottom dwellers of the West would be playoff teams in the East.  That is how bad the East is this year/every year.

13 games left in the regular season and the Lakers are fighting for a playoff spot.  Something that was unfathomable at the start of the season, but then again also seemed completely out of the cards half way through the season.  This season has been so strange for the Lakers.  I just want to see this team get into the playoffs and put a scare into all those Western Conference teams.

13 games left for the Lakers to prove that this season isn't a complete failure.  I assume that everybody outside of Laker Land is continuously laughing at the fact that the Lakers are struggling so mightily.  I can say with certainty that we in Laker Land are just waiting for somebody to beat that damn Miami team.  If they break the Lakers 33 game winning streak, I might have to quit watching basketball and move to a state where basketball isn't important or Canada.  But, I digress.

The Lakers are a playoff team and a title contender still.  Anybody who opposes that thought needs to look at that roster and remember that they have the most competitive person in the league still.  Sorry Lebron, you don't have the same drive Kobe has.  Watch out Western Conference and the rest of the NBA for that matter.  The Lakers are going to make their move now!

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