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The Hoop Doctors

Kobe Saves the Day, but Bynum Steals the Show

February 24, 2010 – Kevin Burke

Even at the tender age of 31, Kobe Bryant is still inarguably the most talented player in the league (the Kobe vs. LeBron debate isn’t even really a debate as far as I’m concerned) and his performance against the Grizzlies Tuesday night is exactly why. After sitting 5 games, plus the All-Star Game, due to a bum ankle, Kobe picked up right where he left off. In his 1,000th career regular season game, he reminded everyone why he is excellence personified. He dropped 32 points, grabbed 7 boards and handed out 6 assists. He also hit the game winning 3 with 4.3 seconds left on the clock as he scored the final 9 points for the Lakers. It was a classic performance by number 24.

But that wasn’t the impressive part of the game for me. What impressed me the most was that Andrew Bynum didn’t get hurt. In each of the last 2 years in games against the Grizzlies in the beginning of the calendar year, Bynum suffered serious knee injuries. On January 13, 2008, at the Staples Center, Andrew dislocated his left knee cap in somewhat of a phantom play, and was lost for the season (that ended up being the only reason why the Lakers lost to the Celtics in the Finals, but I digress). On January 31, 2009, Kobe rolled into Bynum’s right knee causing it to hyperextend. He came back later in the season but wasn’t as effective, despite the Lakers still winning the championship. Well, they played Memphis again tonight but luckily for LA, he walked away unscathed (I’m glad because I didn’t want to have to put him into the Greg Oden Club). Because of recent history and his luck in games against Memphis, him walking off the court under his own power was far more impressive than anything Kobe did tonight. With their full unit in tact, they will be next to unbeatable come playoff time.

If you’re looking for your everyday, predictable basketball talk, then go somewhere else, because Kevin Burke of The Kevin Burke Project brings provocative, thought provoking content about basketball as only he can. For example, I bet you’ve never heard anyone provide legitimate reasons as to why Tim Duncan may be overrated, so buckle your seat belts and enjoy the ride.

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