Kobe Bryant has always said what was on his mind, and when he was recently asked about the current state of the Lakers’ playoff hopes he did not back down.
It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs,” Bryant told Sports Illustrated. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.
The ninth place Los Angeles Lakers (26-29), who are who are 3½ games behind No. 8 Houston in the Western Conference are ready to finish the second half of the season strong, especially after their 113-99 victory of the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers have won six of their last nine games, but Kobe’s confidence actually came from a 107-97 loss to the Miami Heat.
“I’m not talking about just me,” he said. “Us as a group. We will make the playoffs. And we will compete. And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game [a 107-97 loss in Miami on Feb. 10]. We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the extra pass. OK, they have two great players [LeBron James and Dwayne Wade] who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game. But we were right there. We can do it.”
The Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers (25-29) on Friday.
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