The Los Angeles Lakers continue their march toward a three-peat NBA title in the month of December.
The Lakers opened the new season in November rolling to a 10-4 record (not counting tonight's game vs. Memphis) for the first full month of 2010-2011 season. The team was led by Pau Gasol, who played like he truly is one of the best players on the planet.
November also saw superstar Kobe Bryant recover fully from offseason knee surgery. Shannon Brown came off the Lakers bench guns a blazing, proving his hard work over summer paid off, showing the world he is not only a great dunker, but also fabulous shooter.
Now, December looms—what new successes will arise for the Lakers? And, who will shine along with Kobe?
The journey to a three-peat NBA championship for the Lakers is less sprint and more “marathon,” as head coach Phil Jackson loves to point out. And, for this section of the race, the road begins to rise, a climb beginning.
Besides the games, the other key thing that December should mean for Laker fans will be the return of a healthy Andrew Bynum, who is scheduled to come back mid-month. With the team already playing at a high level, Andrew’s addition will only add to the Lakers' strength and allow him to ease his way back into form.
And his addition will help reduce the heavy dose of minutes played by L.A.'s frontcourt.
For the Lakers, the only month that truly matters is June. But, December matters, too. And the game to circle is Christmas Day.
On the 25th, the circus called the Miami Heat roll into L.A. for a much anticipated first matchup. Will Miami have found its way by the time they play the Lakers and give the defending champs a real battle?
Last month, I predicted each win and loss for November. I said the Lakers would win 11 and lose four. The game tonight against Memphis will be the decider, as I predicted a loss, and right now, the Lakers have already lost four games in November. Maybe they win tonight and make me perfect, at least on the win-loss record, for the month. I hope so.
So, here are each of the Lakers’ games in December, key factors of each contest and the predicted outcome.