That the Lakers’ coaches, players and training staff were in a collectively swell mood at practice Friday afternoon in Boston was expected following L.A.’s 110-109 overtime victory over the defending champion Celtics on Thursday night.
In other words, smiles weren’t hard to find.
“We feel good,” said Kobe Bryant, whose trio of triples in the last five minutes helped get L.A. to OT. “Now it’s about shifting our focus to recovery and getting our bodies right, because we played three games in four nights. It’s about getting ready for one last performance on this trip.”
“I think that if you look at where we were at this point last year compared to this year, we’ve grown some,” added Derek Fisher. “We’ve made some progress. And being able to win really tough, competitive road games such as last night says a lot about our team. We’re trying to go in the right direction here, trying to build something really special.”
L.A.’s three games in four days included the season-sweep of Boston and wins in Toronto and New York, which came on the heels of back-to-back weekend wins over Minnesota and Memphis that saw the Lakers climb to 5-0 on the six-game road trip that concludes in Cleveland on Sunday. LeBron and the Cavs happen to be 23-0 at home, while the Lakers are a league-best 17-5 on the road. Bryant praised Cleveland’s energy and fans in their building, while maintaining that the Lakers feel confident no matter where they’re playing.
Fisher concurred: “I think to win on the road you have to somewhat be unflappable,” he said. “You’re just confident that by the end of the game, (no matter what happens), you’re going to win it … We’ve developed some of that this year.”
In fact, we had the mini-cam rolling on Bryant and Fisher after practice; check Lakers.com a little later this afternoon to watch what L.A.’s guards had to say.
***UPDATE: Click here for the Videos***
In the meantime, let’s leave you with my personal favorite quote from the postgame locker room, when Lamar Odom responded to a question from a reporter who questioned L.A.’s toughness:
“I take pride in ‘If I can’t get it, he can’t get it.’ I may not be the strongest dude in the league, but I’m far from the weakest.”