Kobe Bryant: “Spectacular” Clippers are the new “Showtime”
Both teams need a win at this stage. The Los Angeles Clippers (25-8) who ended a franchise best 17-game winning-streak with two consecutive losses into the new year need a win to get back on track. But the Los Angeles Lakers (15-16) appear more desperate for a win after losing two of their past three games and bringing an end to a rare five game winning-streak for the team this season.
"Obviously, yeah," agreed Kobe Bryant. "Just from the record standpoint, absolutely."
However, the Los Angeles Lakers are hardly setting the tone for a competitive game. Kobe Bryant’s already given the Los Angeles Clippers the Lakers’ “Showtime” title and is projecting them as the winning team ahead of Friday’s matchup at the Staples Center.
"They're very spectacular. They're fun to watch. There's no question about it," said Kobe Bryant on Thursday. "They have higher jumpers than Showtime, though."
Admittedly, the younger, faster local rivals are going to be tough on the old and slow Los Angeles Lakers. And Kobe Bryant expects the Los Angeles Clipper fans to create the perfect environment in support of their team, who are15-3 at home.
"I think they're expected to blow us out," said Kobe Bryant. "(Fans) expect the Clippers to come out there and just run all over us…They do a really good job and have a lot of energy in the building.”
The Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Clippers are currently fighting for the top record in NBA this season. The Los Angeles Lakers, who seem to have lost all hope, may just cling on to make their way into the playoffs.
Kobe Bryant stressed on playing cautiously and with more focus on the defense against a more up-tempo rival Friday night.
"They're more explosive. They have a lot of explosiveness with scorers coming off the bench,” said Kobe Bryant. “We have guys that are very solid and do what we ask them to do."
The Los Angeles Lakers lost a single-season series to the Los Angeles Clipper in over a decade. If the Los Angeles Clippers win Friday, they would be 2-0 against the Los Angeles Lakers, with two more left to go in the series this season.
The 34-year-old Kobe Bryant sees it in the Los Angeles Clippers to make away with a win on Friday; and even equated the current roster to a championship-worthy team.
"Oh, for sure. They're definitely one of the top contenders," Kobe Bryant said while noting the impact of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin on the Los Angeles Clippers. “"(Paul) is extremely competitive. I think that became infectious. Blake is too, though. It starts with those two guys and then they added a bunch of guys that are extremely chippy and feisty."
The consolation for the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night is that they seem to be coming off from a good rest this being their third game in the week, after playing at home since December 26th. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Clipper were rather busy keeping up with five games in eight days, inlcuding three road games in between.
“We’ll be ready to go,” Kobe Bryant ended on a more hopeful note.