Kobe Bryant still believes the Lakers will be the team to lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy come June.
"I expect to win it, absolutely," Bryant told 710 ESPN's "Max & Marcellus Show" on Wednesday. "I think the thing that's our biggest strength is our versatility and our size. (Ramon) Sessions has added another dimension to our team in terms of speed and point guard that can score the ball. Our bench has been playing extremely well. We've been shooting the ball extremely well, and our biggest key is our perimeter shooting, limiting our turnovers, and keeping the game at our pace. If we can do those things in the postseason, I like our chances."
Bryant said that he and first-year Lakers coach Mike Brown are on the same page after a rocky inaugural season together.
"It's better than it's ever been," Bryant said when asked about his relationship with Brown. "At the start of the season, the relationship was all new. So we still were kind of trying to feel out each other, and see what he likes, what I like, what the team needs and so on and so forth. Midway through the season, you have struggles, you have bumps on the road where you have to figure things out. That's true with any championship team.
"You look at the (New York) Giants last year; that was a dysfunctional crew. Not to say that we were dysfunctional, but you have ups and downs and that's just part of working through it. I think teams that are standing at the end are teams that are able to figure things out, continue their open lines of communication, and make themselves a better ballclub at the end. So right now, we're in a very good place."
This is a great mindset going into the playoffs. You always want to be ready and play at a high level, whether you're facing a crappy team or the best one, you always have to have a great focus. The playoffs are a new season. 0-0 is your record. Never rule out anyone. Proof in the pudding is the mavericks last year, having a very average season to start, and then shocking the hell out of everyone in the playoffs. This is why, I have a feeling that the lakers will shock the world this year. They've been playing well these last few games, contrary to last season when they lost their last 5 games.
Its great to hear that Kobe and Mike are on the same page and have a better relationship.
After the acquisition of point guard ramon sessions, I have not once heard about the offense being an issue for the players, but rather that the rotations were flip flopping, which is a fair accusation to make. As fans we want consistency, and we want the best possible team put out on the floor. However, seeing that lakers are third in the west, and that there haven't been major distractions since Artest knocked out Harden, this team seems to be ready to make one of their last attempts at going all the way.
With Kobe out vs sacramento tonight, expect guys to look to coast a bit and rest while trying to figure out one final time how to get the ball in the positions they all like. Expect Sacramento to come out against their rivals with energy, and to finish their season on a positive note. Expect a good fun season finale, and no matter what the results will be tonight, we will have more to look forward to soon.