Lakers Grateful for Extended Rest

Despite some experts’ assertion that too much rest between opponents can do more harm than good in the playoffs, Kobe said that the Lakers are taking full advantage of the time off.

“It’s always good,” said Bryant. “You get a chance to recover and get your mind right for the next series.”

“I think for us, we look at it as an opportunity to sharpen our edge,” said Kobe, when asked whether or not the break hurts the team more on the offensive end or the defensive end. “We were playing well in the first series, but we’ll be able to play much better. This time here, we just take it to sharpen our minds a little bit, our mental game and how we want to approach it and try to be better the next series.”

Regardless of whether or not the Lakers face off in the Second Round against the Jazz or the Rockets, Bryant said that the team’s preparation will not change.

“I don’t think there’s anything specific that I look for…obviously, they have different styles of play,” said Bryant. “Ultimately for us, it’ll be about stopping penetration.”

“I’ve played against those guys a lot of times so there’s nothing that really threatens me that I haven’t seen in 12 years.”

Although the Lakers are still 12 wins away from their coveted fifteenth NBA championship, Derek Fisher says that the team’s future is bright beyond just this season.

“To think of how good our future can be if we just believe in each other and trust each other and get better every year…That’s exciting as well, but right now, we’re just waiting on who we’ll see to kind of take that next step,” said Fisher.