good plan-001

The Los Angeles Lakers: So, uhm, L.A. in six, anybody? Anybody? Bueller...?


Yeah, well, that isn't going to happen. Obviously. Hey, maybe the Lakers should have chugged down some more mineral water before Game 5.


Not sure we can pin this one on Kobe. Dude was a one-man wrecking crew: 38 points, 13-for-27 from the field, 8-for-9 from the line, 5 rebounds, 4 assists. From the 4:23 mark of the second quarter until the 2:16 were left of the third, Kobe scored 23 straight Lakers points. But -- and you knew there was a "but" coming, right? -- Boston's lead grew from 1 point to 13 during that stretch.

Still, some of Mamba's shots were flat out sick. Check it:


I know this one was in that compilation, but it deserves a second look:


And yet, like I've been saying, Hero Ball doesn't seem to work for the Lakers. This was Kobe and the Lakers circa 2005-08. You know, when L.A. wasn't winning championships.

sick kobe
Ever seen a man barely containing a projectile vomit? Now you have.

And it wasn't like Kobe's explosion was the only thing going L.A.'s way. The Lakers outrebounded the Celtics 16-7 on the offensive glass and scored 18 points off 17 Boston turnovers. They also doubled up on free throw attempts (26-13) despite the fact that the C's were more aggressive in the paint and playing at home.

That said, the Lakers' offense -- outside of the Return of Mamba -- stunk worse Sex Panther. L.A. finished with only 86 points on 39 percent shooting...which is part of a continuing downward trend. As Basketbawful reader Karc pointed out: "The Lakers scoring in this series is 102, 94, 91, 89, 86. And this is with Byrant scoring 38." What's more, the Lakers had only 12 assists as a team. Rajon Rondo had 8 by himself.

With Andrew Bynum shuffling up and down the court on a flat tire, Boston's defensive game plan has reverted to 2008 form: Force Kobe into the toughest shot possible while roughing up and shutting down everybody else. And it's been pretty effective the last couple games.

Of course, L.A.'s defense was a bigger problem than the offense. The Lakers looked dazed and confused all night. The Celts shot 56 percent for the game, including 66 percent in the first half. Boston also outscored them 46-32 in the paint and 14-3 on the fast break. Regarding that last stat...aren't the C's supposed to be the "old" team? Why can't all those young guys get back in transition?

And how many lapses do you count in Boston's game-breaking play?


Not saying that wasn't a great play by KG (the passer), Pierce (the receiver) and Rondo (the shot maker), but I'm pretty sure it could have been prevented by even slightly above average defense.

Part of the problem is that, unlike the Lakers, there's no simple defensive strategy to employ against the Celtics. A different guy can get hot on any given night. And, with Bynum hobbled, the paint never looked more open. Case in point: The Celts hit 17 of their 23 layup attempts. For fans of simple math, that's 74 percent accuracy.

Pau Gasol: Uh, Pau? Pau, you still there? Where'd you go, Pau? Other than Tony Allen's personal highlight film, that is.


Lakers officials have yet to determine whether Gasol actually made the trip to Boston after Game 2. His contributions have shrunk by the game. I mean, the numbers don't look awful: Last night, he had 12 points and 12 rebounds (7 offensive). But Pau was 5-for-12 from the field and never looked terribly confident in the post. As the series has been allowed to become more physical, Gasol has seemed smaller and smaller inside.

Andrew Bynum: Look, I understand he's hurt, and it's a testament to his desire that he's even out there playing. But 1 rebound in 31 minutes? And zero defensive rebounds? You know who Bynum reminds me off right now? Andre the Giant during his last few years in the ring. Vince McMahon basically had to send poor Andre out in a cart, prop him up in the corner of the ring, and ask his opponents to occasionally wander into the big man's grasp. Unfortunately for the Lakers, David Stern can't mandate that rebounds wander into Bynum's hands.

sad bynum
Andrew Bynum has The Sad.

Rajon Rondo versus the Laws of Physics: I'm not a physics-ologist, but I'm pretty sure this shot wasn't possible based on the laws that currently govern our universe.


Rajon Rondo versus common sense: Rajon giveth and Rajon taketh away. One of the main reasons that the Lakers kept things close was Rondo's, ahem, iffy decision making. Rajon had a game-worst 7 turnovers, most of which the Lakers scored on. And there were several other times where Rondo turned down an easy pass for a much more difficult and ill-conceived pass. Some of those were TOs, others were just wasted opportunities.

I'll cut him some slack because he did, after all, score 18 points on 9-for-12 shooting. But he was forcing way too many things last night.

kg and rondo
I imagine KG is saying, "Turn it over again and I will end you."

Ray Allen: You know why else the Lakers were still right there in the end? Because Ray Allen has forgotten where the basket it. Ray, hey Ray, look, it's over there, Ray.

[points to the basket]

In case you're keeping track, since setting an NBA record by hitting 8 treys in Game 2, Allen has gone 0-for-16 from downtown: 0-for-8 in Game 3, 0-for-4 in Game 4 and 0-for-4 again in Game 5.

Basketbawful reader J.R. dug a little deeper:

Interesting stat to share in regards to the suddenly bricklaying Ray Allen. After making his first seven three-pointers in the first half of Game 2, Ray Allen since then has gone 1-20 from the arc. Is this an unheard of, career worst streak of anti-clutchness for this normally reliable shooter?

Not really. Just last year in the Orlando series, Ray-Ray went 2-22 from long range in Game 3 through Game 6 (including 0-fers in every game but Game 5).
The worst part of Allen's slump is that, in Game 3, if he'd only had a bad game instead of a historically bawful one, the Celtics might have wrapped things up last night. Then again, Ray's shooting won Game 2, so maybe this is simply an amazing, real life example of the Law of Averages at work.

Boston's crunch time nappy nap: You know why else the Lakers were still right there in the end? The Celtics went into "run down the clock" mode in the last five minutes. Not surprisingly, the 12-point lead they had with about three minutes left got uncomfortably small before they closed it out.

Said Doc Rivers: "I thought in the fourth quarter we tried to hold on to the game and didn't go get the game. We stopped playing the way we had for three quarters. We can't do that in L.A."

Kevin Garnett: KG had a fantastic game: 18 points (6-for-11, 6-for-7 from the line), 10 boards, 3 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocked shots and a shitload of defensive intimidation. But...c'mon...letting Derek Fisher [!!] out-leap him on a jump ball with 46 seconds left and the Celtics up by only 5 points was ugh-inducing. Fortunately for Garnett and the C's...

Ron Artest: When the season began, I said that Ron Artest's shooting would probably end up hurting the Lakers. Some people disagreed with me and pointed to his three-point percentage from the 2008-09 season, which was a little over 40 percent. I said that was an aberration year. Anyway, not to say I told you so or anything, but, well, I did.

During the playoffs, Ron-Ron is shooting 39 percent from the field, 27 percent from downtown and 54 percent from the line. Speaking of "from the line," after KG muffed that jump ball, Artest sped down court and got fouled by Paul Pierce. Then Ron-Ron stepped up to the line and bricked 'em both.


But wait, there's more: For the game, Ron shot 2-for-9 and finished with as many fouls (4) as rebounds and assists (2 each). And that amazing defense he was playing early in the series? I think Pierce (27 points, 12-for-21) has figured it out.

Don't you think that, somewhere, Trevor Ariza was munching on some nachos and feeling very vindicated?

Update! An anonymous commenter reminded me of the following: "And not only did Ron Ron brick his freebies he failed to foul Rondo (< 30% FT shooting so far) when he had the ball allowing the ball to be passed back to Allen wasting seconds on the clock and still ending up fouling the best FT shooter on the floor."

Phil Jackson: Dig this crunch time pep talk:


Now, I haven't coached my way to 10 NBA championships, so what do I know? But still, I don't think I'd tell my players to expect the other team to lose. I'd probably, you know, tell them to go out and take the game.

Kendrick Perkins: From Basketbawful reader Sam Lively: "I believe that Kendrick Perkins' mad attempt at leading and finishing a full-speed fast break despite having multiple guards in range for an easy pass, obviously the result of demonic possession (in fact such plays really should be called demonic possessions), is worthy of WotN mention."

Indeed it is.

Flopping: An anonymous reader posted the following comment in last night's BAD post: "Do give flopping a special mention in the WotN. Holy crap. I've never seen so many flops by so many different players in 1 game. By the end of the 4th no one was even playing anymore. Just throwing shit up awkwardly at the rim and flailing around on defense to draw a whistle."

[nods vigorously]

Update! An anonymous commenter provided this video, which pretty much epitomizes last night's flop-a-palooza.


Boston fans...or at least one of them: Throwing stuff on the court while Kobe's shooting a free throw? Really?

Props to the fan that made this, tho'.

shrek and donkey

Kobe Bryant, quote machine: "The offensive part of the game kind of comes and goes. I just thought defensively we weren't very good at all. We didn't get any stops. They got layup after layup after layup, and you can't survive a team that shoots 56 percent. We're normally a great defensive team."

Paul Pierce, quote machine: Regarding the game-breaking play: "I was just showing off my Randy Moss and my Tom Brady in one play, that's all. Going up to catch it, then I went to my Brady mode when I was falling out of bounds to find Rondo on the receiving end. It was all instinctive."

Doc Rivers, quote machine, Part 1: "Bottom line is, when they won Game 3, from that point on, we felt every next game is a must win. Each game is a Game 7. We said it in Game 4, we said it today, and we'll say it again. That's how we have to approach the game. We lost our wiggle room by losing [Game 3]."

Doc Rivers, quote machine, Part 2: "He's the best shot-maker in the game. There's probably better athletes and all that, but there's no better shot-maker than Kobe Bryant. You've just got to live with it and play through it."

Phil Jackson, quote machine: "I thought we had a spirited locker room at the end of our [postgame] session there. We're upbeat about going into [Game 6]."

Lamar Odom, quote machine: "When we lose a game in November, I'm pissed off. If we played checkers and I lose, I'm pissed off. If we played a game on PlayStation or Xbox and I lose, I want to play you again. I'm always upset when we lose, but I can't hold on to it that long because we have a game we have to win on Tuesday. I have to put things behind me. Win or lose in the playoffs, I have to move on."

Ron Artest, quote machine: "No matter what it says on this stat sheet, we did it together. We did all this together."Everything we did, we did together."

Final Gaaahden event of the year Game 5 playoff lacktion report From Chris: "Shannon Brown sauteed a package of criminis in just 19 seconds for a non-celebratory Mario."

Labels: , ,

95 Comments:
Anonymous Sorbo said...
I can't pin this on Kobe. People will talk stupid about the psychological effect of Hero Ball on his teammates, but that's crap too. Look, it's the NBA Finals. If you're not giving 100% every play, even when you're not touching the ball, then you what are doing there? These games define you as a player (Gasol and Odom)

As much as we complain at Kobe, dude is the only one leaving it on the floor. I hate to say it, but I'm almost thinking that Phil should play Vujachick in longer stretches instead of Ron-Ron. Substitute some offense for defense

Either way, the NBA wants a Game 7, so it's going seven. All the 50/50 calls and bounces will go L.A.'s way in Game 6, so they'll pull out a victory. And Kobe's team actually plays better at home (Farmar, Brown, Odom, Gasol). The advertising money for a Game 7 will be too hard for Commandant Stern to pass up.

Blogger Dan B. said...
I could watch that Rondo reverse over and over and over again. In fact, I think I will! Excuse me for a moment.

Also FYI, I have recently discovered this fantastic fake Mikhail Prokhorov Twitter feed.

Blogger Will said...
"That said, the Lakers' offense -- outside of the Return of Mamba -- stunk worse Sex Panther."
So does this mean that 60% of the time, the Lakers' offense works every time?

Blogger Adam said...
Being on a government computer, I'll pass on the Sex Panther link. Something tells me it would only bring pain anyway.

Also, that Tony Allen block on Gasol was actually a foul COMBINED with Sheed pushing him from behind but hey, it was in Boston. "Physical" play and all.

I expected a WotN for Pau for tipping the ball into the Celtics basket. Accident or not, I figure that qualifies. Sadly I have no clip but I'm sure it's out there.

Blogger Sid said...
That Shrek pic, it says Viva LA stool at the bottom. Long live shit? Viva! LA is shit? Or something I didn't get.

No way Lakers lose game 6. No way.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Take away Kobe's 13-27 (8/9 FTs), and the rest of the Lack Show shot 18 of 51(9/17 FTs). Would you pass to that team?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1LAO1lXCPY

Video of the Artest flop which took the cake. No easy feat considering how much acting went on last night.

And not only did Ron Ron brick his freebies he failed to foul Rondo (< 30% FT shooting so far) when he had the ball allowing the ball to be passed back to Allen wasting seconds on the clock and still ending up fouling the best FT shooter on the floor.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Game 6 will be tightly called with lots of ticky tacky touch fouls, and thus Lakers win.

Last night the wife and I were folding/hanging up laundry during the game. I told her "don't be a baby" for some reason, and she responded with "don't be an Uno-uno?" She doesn't much like basketball or pay attention, but she remembers funny details I tell her. From previous series even. Yep, that's why I married her!

Anonymous ChrisLTD said...
"Take away Kobe's 13-27 (8/9 FTs), and the rest of the Lack Show shot 18 of 51(9/17 FTs). Would you pass to that team?"

QFT.

Kobe didn't try hero ball until the 3rd quarter when it had already become abundantly clear he was the only Laker playing professional basketball.

"Also, that Tony Allen block on Gasol was actually a foul COMBINED with Sheed pushing him from behind but hey, it was in Boston. "Physical" play and all."

If you think THAT'S a foul, you should watch something that suits your needs. Something like the WNBA.

Anonymous The Pissed-Off Mr. Anonymous said...
The Lakers are playing 4 on 5 on offense and 5 on 5 for defense. Artest is providing nothing for them. Playing 4 on 5 on offense is essentially playing into Boston's hand b/c they rely on their transition game to get easy buckets. LA must play the better offensive player (Vujacic, Brown or Walton). Their failure to play better offense is hurting their defense.

And on defense, the Lakers are playing 5 on 5. Artest was brought in to at least make it 5 on 4.5/4. Kevin Durant, who Artest sufficiently held in check, is a superior player to Paul Pierce in all ways, but one...Pierce has better teammates (screeners, offensive rebs leading to open looks, etc.). Phil and his assistants have to see this. I would be hesitant to take Artest out if he was provided solid rebounding, but he's not doing that well either.

Blogger Adam said...
Not everybody pines for the days when players could have fist fights out on the court. It was a clear foul and as is typical they weren't called for it.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Not everybody pines for the days when players could have fist fights out on the court.

I do.

Blogger 49er16 said...
After Tony Allen blocked Gasol, I said to myself this series is over. With Bynum struggling with injuries, Gasol has been exposed by the Celtics bigs. Reminiscent of the 08 Finals.

Anonymous ChrisLTD said...
The Celtics play very similar defense to the evil Duke Blue Devils. Constant hand checks and lots of "incidental" contact. Unfortunately, like the Blue Devils, the Celtics have trained the officials to think of these clear fouls as Tough Defense.

Basketbawful was right a few posts ago, the Celtics are a very physical team and the Lakers rely more on finesse. The outcome of each game is decided a lot by whether or not the officials decide to call the Celtics on their rough play. So far, each game has become more loosely called than the last.

It was a clear foul and as is typical they weren't called for it.

Well, Fisher's "win" of the jump ball was clearly because he hit the ball on the way up. WHERE IS THE LAW AND ORDER?

Calls get missed. Allen got ball first, so they gave him the benefit of the doubt. Sour grapes.

Blogger Adam said...
Dan: What I like about basketball is that allowed contact is minimal. To have to move the ball around offensively and try to stop the ball defensively without simply bowling the person over requires more skill to me than brute strength. Otherwise it just turns into crap like football. I'm against flops and not letting the players play as much as any other, but I'm much more impressed by somebody like Rondo who can twist his way into a layup while avoiding contact than I am by a defender who can thug his way into a forced defensive rebound.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Not everybody pines for the days when players could have fist fights out on the court. It was a clear foul and as is typical they weren't called for it.

I assume you mean this going both ways, right? Remember in Game 2, when the Lakers recorded an NBA Finals record 14 blocked shots and Celtics were getting batted around like ping pong balls? I don't seem to recall a lot of protest about that coming from you. And I'm not being sarcastic. Just curious.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Sid - "la" means "the" in Spanish.

And a quick Google search says it is an ongoing promotion by Barstool Sports to win a free T-shirt.


Nate Robinson to distrupt Fish Herb was awesome.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Uh, Pau? Pau, you still there? Where'd you go, Pau?"

An observant employee spotted him in the beef aisle cooler, obviously misplaced, and moved him back to the dairy cooler with the rest of the Cool Whip (light) tubs.

"Also, that Tony Allen block on Gasol was actually a foul COMBINED with Sheed pushing him from behind..."

Really? The first commenter was right, go watch ballet. Tony Allen glassed that shit. If a foul did happen, it was well before Gasol muscled up (so to speak) for that 'dunk' attempt.

"Would you pass to that team?"

His lack of passing (when appropriate) is contributing to their bad shooting. Can't get into a rhythm when you don't get the ball at good spots when you should get the ball.

Bryant simply made a lot of b-a-a-a-a-d shots. Good for him!

In contrast, Pierce is making tough shots and creating opportunities for easy shots mixed in.

In other news, I'm still waiting for the great Odom to blow by his man and finish over the top with his LeBron James like athletic ability. (Pshaw!)

Blogger Adam said...
I assume you mean this going both ways, right? Remember in Game 2, when the Lakers recorded an NBA Finals record 14 blocked shots and Celtics were getting batted around like ping pong balls? I don't seem to recall a lot of protest about that coming from you. And I'm not being sarcastic. Just curious.

Yes, I definitely mean this going both ways. The difference is that Boston's defense is predicated on fouls disguised as "tough" play and they get away with it ALL the time. Like I said, what draws me to basketball (and what I feel differentiates it from other sports) is the skill required in scoring and defending *without* necessarily being full-contact. Boston's brand of defense may win them games when they're not actually called on it, but it's boring and unimaginative. If that means I prefer finesse, then I prefer finesse.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Basketbawful was right a few posts ago, the Celtics are a very physical team and the Lakers rely more on finesse.

That's half-true. They're more physical when Bynum is healthy (and longer, too). It's funny, I've heard nothing but calls for "more Gasol" on this site from non-Lakers fans during Games 1 to 3, even when the Lakers won. And today...nothing. Funny how a series can show a player's true colors. Gasol, mission accomplished: you are soft.

As for bad calls. Home teams always get 50/50 calls and there were bad calls and non-calls both ways (the Celtics' 24-second violation with a minute in the game), but they tend to even out from previous plays (Kobe's three FTs with 1:30 left).

This is going to sound like sour grapes, but I thought I saw Pierce step out of bounds on that Rondo pass to seal the game, but I couldn't find one angle to really prove it in replay. Lamar's foot or the crowd are in the way for every video angle. It just seemed weird: his right foot was toeing the line, then it looked as if his left foot came down beyond his right foot. Any video on this?

Blogger BadDave said...
Wondering about the flopping. It's an easy explanation. The World Cup is going on right now. The trees are targeting professional athletes.

Blogger Dooj said...
Do the haters really think that fouls should be called on all contact or are they just bitter their team lost?

Blogger Adam said...
BadDave: I figured it was the invisible muggers!

Blogger Sid said...
@ AnacondaHL

Thanks for clearing that up. The meaning of the phrase still escapes me though. Viva La translates to "long live", stool means shit. They can tell me it's Long Live Barstool all day long, I'm convinced it's Long Live Shit. A hearty back slap to whoever thought up that abbreviation.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
His lack of passing (when appropriate) is contributing to their bad shooting. Can't get into a rhythm when you don't get the ball at good spots when you should get the ball.


Echoeing and earlier comment, Bryant didn't go into Hero ball mode until the third quarter, when it became abundantly clear that his teammates stopped giving a shit and just wanted to go home. And, Odom didn't score his second hoop until the fourth, when Kobe was supposedly in Hero mode and killing everyone's rhythm (Lamar had six in the fourth), so that "rhythm theory" is debunked. It's simple: Gasol played bawful (and was physically dominated), as did Ron-Ron (who looks lost), and Bynum played hurt. How are these things Kobe's fault?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
If only Jackson's scouting report had included the stats on whether the playoff version of the Celtics actually end up losing games after they choke away a big 4th quarter lead.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Anybody complaining about the Celtics getting away with fouls needs to stop. There's a reason it's called homecourt advantage (refs tend to side with the home team). And...it's the Finals. Men should play like men.

Blogger Cortez said...
Can someone explain what Bryant was crying about when Pierce snatched the ball out of his hands toward the end of the 4th quarter?

What a pathetic display.

Blogger Cortez said...
"How are these things Kobe's fault?"

How about you go look up the word contributing when you get a moment?

Here, I'll help you out, hermano.

www.m-w.com

"so that 'rhythm theory' is debunked."

I was going to address your hole filled argument (which contridicts itself, btw) but then I thought better of it.

Good day, chief.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
LA has made a bunch of defensive adjustments between games. Boston hasn't really beaten them the same way twice. I'm very surprised though at the lack of offensive adjustments. After the first two games LA's offense has devolved into that whole "give the ball to Kobe and watch him take a contested long-range jumper over and over and over".

I get that Boston is clogging the lane and generally rotating well enough to minimize the number of open jumpers, but why not play Gasol more in the high post? The guy is a decent shooter from that range and an above average interior passer. Run Kobe/Odom/whoever else off multiple screens and try to get them the ball as they cut to the rim. Garnett may be rejuvenated but he is almost as likely to foul a guy as he is to block his shot at this stage in his career. Ditto for Perkins.

Why not play Vujacic more? Artest can't buy a bucket and despite his penchant for choking Sasha would give them another outside shooter along with Fisher. One more target for Gasol or Kobe to hit and sufficient ball movement should give them open looks.

Boston's transition D has been very good, I'll admit, but why aren't the Lakers trying to run every chance they get? One of the best ways to attack a particularly stingy defense is before it has had a chance to set up.

I'm no coach but these seem like sensible adjustments.

Also, if we're going to get on Gasol we should mention his pathetic defense on Garnett in the fourth quarter. With the game up for grabs he twice fronted him in the post while nobody was within 3 feet of the ballhandler (Rondo) and the defense was in no position to provide immediate help. The results were exactly what you would expect.

Anonymous Karc said...
I've said a lot of junk about Kobe, but what else was he supposed to do? I think the message he was trying to send to his team was "play all out on defense, I'll take care of the offense." That's actually not a bad strategy. Yes, you run the risk of the Celtics going back to 2008 and putting a wall around Kobe, which they did. Or the front line giving up layup and open jumpers from Pierce. But at least he's not LeBron, who quit in Game 5, at home, in a must win game.

Just another choke job in the Finals in a long history of choke jobs.

Anonymous Justin said...
Funny how a series can show a player's true colors. Gasol, mission accomplished: you are soft.

Agreed, he's really squeezing the Charmin these Finals. Can we start calling him Powder Puff Gasol?

Blogger Dooj said...
Btw, if the C's win it all, does Kobe get MVP just because he was the "best" player every single game? If not, who does?

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Can someone explain what Bryant was crying about when Pierce snatched the ball out of his hands toward the end of the 4th quarter?

Don't let your Kobe hatred blind you. Kobe does that all the time. He took acting lessons from Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Derek Fisher.

How about you go look up the word contributing when you get a moment?


Look, why wouldn't you feed Kobe when he has the hot hand, or conversely, if your Kobe, why wouldn't you shoot if you were feeling it? He is the best shooter on the team. They lost because Gasol was dominated and the defense was terrible. They gave up 56% and still had a shot to win it. Yet somehow, it's all Kobe's fault. That's the easy excuse.

Uh, Pau? Pau, you still there? Where'd you go, Pau?"

In your words, the second best scoring option (Gasol) didn't show up. What is Kobe suppose to do when his next best option is getting dominated on the post? Get Ron-Ron shots? Lamar? These guys have barely shown up offensively all series. And don't say "Get other guys" involved like it's that easy. Just as much as Gasol looked beaten at times, part of beaten look came because the Celtics were going to push him around and not give him easy looks.

It's very easy to blame Kobe (look at this site for that), and Kobe does shoulder some blame for some games for taking bad shots (every player makes mistakes)...but you can't lay last night's game at his feet. The team needs to play better defense, and someone other than Fisher needs to grab the spotlight from Kobe when they feel it or want it.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@Dooj
They'll give it to Ron Artest for giving the Celtics a chance to win every game.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Justin said... Can we start calling him Powder Puff Gasol?

Powerpuff Gasol.

Anonymous ChrisLTD said...
Dooj,
Rondo will get the MVP.

Pierce could get it if the Celtics win game 6 and he has another performance like last night.

Otherwise, it's Rondo.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: except the Powerpuff Girls aren't always about being as tough as talcum powder.

Anonymous Shrugz said...
SOOOOOOOOOOOOO where are all the "OMG Ron Artest is awesome" fans?
If you were one say "Aye!"

Anonymous AK Dave said...
How fucking terrified did Artest look taking those free throws?

Shades of Dennis Scott... or Gilbert Arenas in the WIZ-CLE series several years back.

I love how Jeff Van Gundy busted Artest the hell out on national TV when he flopped on that Rondo touch: "Say 'Queensbridge' NOW, Ron!" - indeed.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Shades of Dennis Scott... or Gilbert Arenas in the WIZ-CLE series several years back.

Don't forget Vince Carter in the ECFs this year...

I love how Jeff Van Gundy busted Artest the hell out on national TV when he flopped on that Rondo touch: "Say 'Queensbridge' NOW, Ron!" - indeed.

Indeed indeed.

Anonymous Tree said...
I think a few of you are getting your panties' in a bit too much of a twist over the Kobe 'hero ball' stuff.

Defending that style by saying he was the only guy playing professional ball for LA ignores 2 very important stats:

Before Kobe went on that run and scored 23 straight (or whatever the number was), the Celtics had only outscored the Lakers by 1.

After Kobe's 23 straight was over, the Lakers outscored the Celtics by 7.

I know there are a lot of variables that these numbers don't account for ... but it's pretty striking. My take, admittedly uneducated, is that hero ball demoralizes his team mates and they are less involved overall and they check out a little. We saw that earlier with Pau's subtle comments about wanting more shots.

Anonymous avoozl said...
All this stuff about the Celtics bullying the Lakers is so insane. The Lakers are bigger than them, or the same size at the very least. Look at Bynum and Artest. Fisher is way bigger than Rondo. Perkins is the Celtics' only real bruiser. KG is thin an wiry, Sheed is pretty thin.

This "bullying" rubbish is just a way to try and discount stifling defense as cheating because you're upset about your team losing. The Lakers have been "bullying" plenty of teams, but I guess when it happens to them it's not acceptable any more?

Yeah we need more fouls, and that block by Allen should be a foul, even though it was a clean block, because nobody wants to see plays like that. We want to discourage that. Gasol fell over and made a face so we should reward him for doing that, and stop play every 5 seconds with a whistle so we can have a nice non-confrontational free throw shooting contest.

Kobe and Fisher flail about on almost every shot when nobody's touching them, and the reason is because they keep getting rewarded for it. Down with flopping and the idiotic refs who reward it.

Blogger dc said...
heartbreaking loss for the lake show... Crazy pills is really startin to piss me off... what the hell was that look on his face at the end of the game?? some priceless face expressions goin' on in this series...

Refs werent to blame... but I really wish that 'airball' by ray allen call woulda gone LA's way... that ball really didnt look like it hit anything~ and it could have... whatever...

Finals MVP wouldnt mean anything for Kobe... I'd say give it to rondo~ although all these media talk about him being the best PG needs to drop~ best PG would not shoot below 50% FT in the finals~ probably top 5 pgs in the league... arguably.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: So when are the folks in Orlando gonna offer Ron-Ron a deal? He clearly demonstrated his clutch chops from the charity stripe last night.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Don't let your Kobe hatred blind you."

Kobe Bryant is fine with me.

"Kobe does that all the time."

So, what exactly am I blinded from? The fact that something actually happened to make him flail around like a little bitch or the millions of other times he flailed around like a little bitch when nothing happened, in which case the latter would signal that my LOVE for him had been blinding me from his bitchy histrionics.

"He took acting lessons from Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Derek Fisher."

So nothing happened then? Thanks for answering my original query, boss.

"How fucking terrified did Artest look taking those free throws?"

Very. When I saw his face I told my friend that one of his free throws may very well break the backboard in half. I was close.

"Yet somehow, it's all Kobe's fault."

I see you haven't made it to the Websters site again for the definition of contributing.

Here it is again...

www.m-w.com

Let me ask this...

Is Bryant the LEADER of the team or is he a role player whose role happens to be scoring a lot of baskets.

If it's A then the majority of the blame is on him, period.

If it's B then you're right. Everyone should stop picking on him because he played his role.

I've said Gasol is similar to a tub of Cool Whip. It's the LEADER'S job (Bryant) to make that Cool Whip into something effective. For now, it looks like Bryant's job is pouting and bitching about routine plays and getting the ball snatched out his flimsy hands then acting like someone fouled him when in reality all they did was snatch the ball out of his flimsy little hands.

Kobe Bryant: Role Player.

You actually may be on to something!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
dc - The announcers were being thick, but that call was easy. On every replay, you can see the ball change spin rotations as it passes by the rim and before hitting the backboard, implying the ball hit the rim. It was an easy call to reverse, and would have been a hella a lot shadier if the refs gave the ball to the Lakers after Ray's "airball".


I personally can't wait for the return of IHopeRonArtestRuinsTheLaaaakeeeers.mp3 pending this jinx of course.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
I hope this proves my "don't blame Kobe" point. Here are some stats during the big Kobe stretch:
Kobe: 8/13 FGs, 2/3 FTs, 3/3 3FGs
Rest of Lakers: 0/8 FGs, no FT attempts

Lakers: 8/21 FGs, 2/3 FTs, 3/3 3FGs
Celtics: 13/18 FGs, 2/4 3FGs, 3/3 FTs

Included in the 0-fer is Gasol being blocked twice (by Allen and Garnett). That lead wasn't expanded because of Kobe, but because of zero defense.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Npe not buying the Kobe ball hogged because the rest of the team sucked. Kobe went into hero mode the 2nd possession of the 3rd quarter. Unless that was the half-time adjustment there was no reason to not give a couple more possessions to see if his teammates could find a little rhythm to start the 2nd. It's not like that was totally impossible. He himself shot poorly in the 1st but that didn't stop him from.
Pau took the first shot - beat KG and got blocked at the rim by Perkins it's not like he badly bricked a shot.

Anonymous Karc said...
I'm rooting for the Celtics win on Tuesday...because that means Better Off Ted returns to TV!

http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/arts-a-entertainment/tuned-in-journal/18879-better-off-ted-airs-last-two-episodes

Must be tough to be an LA sports fan this year. The McCourt's divorce killed the Dodgers, the Angels batter who hit the grand slam and broke his leg celebrating is officially out for the year, the Kings finally get back to the NHL playoffs only to be quickly dismissed, Candace Parker hurts her shoulder again (it's seriously as bad as Bynum's legs) and the Sparks are done, USC got the hammer thrown down by the NCAA and is banned from the postseason for two years, and now the Lakers (the one team that could alleviate all of the above by actually winning a series against someone who is not afraid of them) look to be toast.

Do we know anyone in LA so that they can be placed on honorary suicide watch?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Ah, we have a nice little Hero Ball debate going.

This makes more sense if you've played a lot of basketball, pickup, organizaed, whatever.

When you've got a teammate in Hero Mode, you (as his teammate) are not involved. As Cortez correctly pointed out, this hurts your rhythm. And that's usually the case on both ends of the court, because -- for good or bad -- a player getting frozen out on the offensive end usually starts to doze on the defensive end.

When you have a teammate going Hero, and you finally get the ball, it's just...different. You don't have the feel. Like I said, much easier to understand if you've lived it.

Now, against lesser teams, Hero Ball can be brutally effective. A team that's mentally weak will collapse in the face of a Hero Ball onslaught. I've played in games where it's happened and been on both sides.

The problem for the Lakers is that the Celtics are mentally tougher than that, and much was made of Doc Rivers preparing them for a Kobe explosion. Boston just kept plugging away, executing on offense and going at it on defense. Had Kobe done that to, ahem, the Raptors, they would have fallen apart.

Anyway, for further reading, see what Cortez had to say about leadership.

Blogger Japes said...
Whoa now Bawful. You didn't have to bring the Raptors into this argument. It's not like they let Kobe score 81 and lose oh wait nevermind....

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@Cortez
Kobe's flailing is no different than Pierce, Allen, or Fisher doing the same. At best, it was a 50/50 call for the refs, and that using the home team's way. Complaning gets you calls, and acting is part of the game (for better or worse).

And scoring doesn't count as contribution? I guess the Celtics never score, as much as they just pass the ball through the hoop.

Look, I get it, Kobe shoots a lot, he's an asshole, and he's hard on his teammates...but the man is no role player (watch the 2008 gold medal for proof). He's not responsible for the mindsets of Gasol, Odom, and Ron-Ron. These are professional athletes in the NBA Finals. If they need someone to kiss their asses in order for them to get up for these games, then they don't belong there in the first place.

If one of those players actually stepped up and gave off the appearance of a spine(like Fisher in Game 3), maybe Kobe wouldn't have to shoot so much and call them out after the game. Maybe he's yelling at them because they're playing like shit and he's frustrated.

Fun fact: Kobe has the second most assists in this series.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
If one of those players actually stepped up and gave off the appearance of a spine(like Fisher in Game 3), maybe Kobe wouldn't have to shoot so much and call them out after the game. Maybe he's yelling at them because they're playing like shit and he's frustrated.

So...are the Lakers playing poorly, or is Boston's defense making them play poorly?

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@Basketbawful
Can't it be both? As you said in your post today As the series has been allowed to become more physical, Gasol has seemed smaller and smaller inside.

That statement seems to account for both the Celts D and the Lakers players' lack of attack.

Blogger Will said...
"So...are the Lakers playing poorly, or is Boston's defense making them play poorly?"
I think it depends on which players you're talking about. You have Crazy Pills who is bricking wide open J's and free throws. Then there is the Spanish Marshmallow who has been taken off his game by the C's big men.

Blogger dc said...
conda-- now that i look at the replay again, i guess the ball rotation makes sense... now i can blame the loss sole on crazy pills.

So...are the Lakers playing poorly, or is Boston's defense making them play poorly?
its definitely boston's D... lakers rarely get clean looks or uncontested layups~ even when fisher broke lose... he was hitting some crazy shots.

regarding the hero ball... i think it was necessary for Kobe to take over~ his teammates were simply not getting it done in the first half in a pivotal finals game...
in terms of regular pick up, or game... when you find your team is flat, the best offenssive player should take charge and try to jump start the offense.
i kinda wish lebron would have done something like that against the celts instead of folding like a little girl.

hero mode or not... championship teammates should not be putting up:
Rest of Lakers: 0/8 FGs, no FT attempts...in any quarter
and it doesnt excuse the lakers defense giving up layups after layups....

Blogger Cortez said...
"Kobe's flailing is no different than Pierce, Allen, or Fisher doing the same."

So, your point is they're all bitches. You're may be on to something again.

"At best, it was a 50/50 call for the refs"

Nah, it was a 100/0 call for the refs. Pierce got big and took the ball cleanly out of of his hands. Pierce 1, Mamba 0.

"Complaining gets you calls, and acting is part of the game (for better or worse)."

Worse.

Treating the officials with respect and stepping your own game up (e.g. holding on to the ball rather than getting it cleanly snatched out of your hands then throwing a bitch fit like you got fouled) will get you more calls (in my experience).

"And scoring doesn't count as contribution?"

Now you're being silly. No one ever suggested Bryant isn't contributing.

"...but the man is no role player"

He certainly isn't a LEADER. Well certainly not an effective one.

I'll stick with Kobe Bryant: Role Player.

His role is SCORING A LOT OF BASKETS. That's a role.

"Fun fact: Kobe has the second most assists in this series."

Ha!

Wilt Chamberlain used to go out and get a ton of assists and then say, "Look, I'm not a cancer! I got a ton of assists! See, they're right there in the stat sheet!"

Marbury would average a shit load of assists also then declare himself the best point guard in the WORLD.

Check for yourself...

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/marbust01.html

Chamberlain, Marbury, and yourself suffer(ed) from flawed logic as it is applied to basketball.

"If one of those players actually stepped up and gave off the appearance of a spine"

The mistake you're making is common. You're focusing on what you want the case to be instead of what the case is.

As soft as Gasol is, as unfocused as Odom is and as limited as Fisher (and the rest of them are) they could be in a better position to win if Bryant would (or maybe even knew) how to LEAD them there.

He can't so they are forced to hope that someone every now and then plays beyond their normal/expected abilities.

Good luck, Mamba. You're going to need it.

"He's not responsible for the mindsets of Gasol, Odom, and Ron-Ron."

Like Bawful said, it's very likely you have no concept of succeful basketball (on any level) and certainly you can't have any concept of leadership.

My new theme...

Kobe Bryant: Role Player
Role: Scoring baskets (most more difficult than need be!)

P.S. If your plan relies on known headcases/finesse players to be something other than headcases without specific actions to guide them and improve their known (and expected) behavior then congrats...

YOU HAVE YOURSELF A BAD PLAN.

Blogger Adam said...
Karc: I'm an LA native (surprise, right?) but I'm currently in Tucson. Thankfully I don't really care about the other sports, although the ridiculous Dodgers situation does kind of annoy me. McCourt is such an appropriate name for those two pieces of work.

Anonymous ChrisLTD said...
Heh... Kobe Bryant is a role player? Good luck starting that meme.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
"Like Bawful said, it's very likely you have no concept of succeful basketball (on any level) and certainly you can't have any concept of leadership."

Cortez, go easy on the coffee, scro.

'Bawful didn't say that. You did.

Getting rude and aggressive with people on the internet doesn't add to your argument; it's just... well... to use the cliche... trolling. O_O

Mark Jackson says: "You're better than that."

Anonymous ChrisLTD said...
"Getting rude and aggressive with people on the internet doesn't add to your argument"

Shut up, Hitler!

:-)

Blogger Leland said...
I have the feeling that the series is going to go 7 games. What could be better for the league?? Two of its most storied franchise battling for a one game take all chips. Stern is salavating at thought.

Also, since i think it is going to go 7, i worry that if game 6 is tight and the refs make some questionable calls that it will influence game 7. particularly if those calls involve perkins and wallace. They have been playing their role well this series and if either one picks up a T in game 6 then obvi they can't play in game 7.

That would be a travesty because Perkins being forced to sit out, more so than Wallace, could severely hurt the Celtics chance in winning game 7.

Anonymous Shrugz said...
Better Off Ted's returning? FINALLY I love that show
hilarious
Veridian Dynamic commercials are awesome

Anyways I wouldn't worry too much I think it'll be a Game 7 though

Kobe's going to will his team to game 6 win.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Re: Better Off Ted - It's the last two unaired episodes, but the show is definitely canned. Really sad, that was like the only comedy I watched on TV in a long time. So yes, this whole time I was rooting for a 6 game or less Finals.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@Cortez
Well in two years, Kobe's lead his teams to three Finals appearance (winning one, so far) and kept Team USA from blowing the fourth quarter of the gold medal game to Spain (something Gasol hates him for). Sounds like a terrible basketball player to me. Sound like a selfish player whose methods obviously don't work. :)

Don't be pissed about the assist stat. Kobe isn't a statpadder like Wilt and Marbury. He does try to win (and doesn't fake injuries like Wilt). My point is that assists do not equal leadership. And look, flailing and complaining sometimes gets calls. Like you said: unfortunately, it's part of the game. Lots of players do it (especially in this series), I'm just saying, don't single out Kobe is all.

You're role player vs. leader argument. The Celtics are a role-playing (LARPing?) team. Every guy fills a role: Pierce is the scorer, Allen shoots threes, KG is the defensive anchor, Perkins is the muscle, and Rondo runs the show. Who is the leader on that team? Are they all leaders? That's a lot of chiefs. Does Rondo lead Pierce or does Pierce lead KG who then leads Rondo? What's the executive ladder look like? In one sense the Celtics don't have a true leader, they're all role players at this point. And for them, it works. For the Lakers, something else works (at least in Games 1 and 3): Kobe taking on the majority of the offense.

Try to avoid throwing out terms and defining "leader" for basketball. It rarely, if ever, lives up to what you think it should mean. Every team has a different dynamic and no team is ever run exactly the same way. I've played on teams where my role was facilitator and to keep the offense running smoothly. I've been on others were my job was to score in the post and anchor the middle on defense. And I've been on teams where my role was to set picks and lock down the other guy's best scorer. And I've been on teams where I needed to keep the lazy players in line. But in no situation did we (by "we" I mean "the team") ever have a this fairy tale version of a "leader." Guys called each other out for bullshit and bad play, but all of us knew it was for the greater good. I imagine a team in the Finals to have a similar demeanor and to know that the anger/frustration is ultimately ouf of a wanting to win and not a selfish gene.

We don't know, but maybe yelling at his teammates gets them fired up (it gets me fired up when I'm yelled at). Maybe calling them "shit" makes them play better out of defiance. It's not the preferred, modern way, but it still works for some people. Like how arguing with you, Cortez, gets you fired up and makes you want to best me. And vice versa. You sure seem fired up, anyway. Maybe we can just agree that Kobe's not your version of a leader and that you simply don't like his style of play. Fair enough, but I disagree.

I mean, was MJ a good leader when he punched Kerr in the face? Or was he a good leader when he played hero ball in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals? Both? Neither? Just be fair to the man. He's not the only guy in a uniform out there.

Blogger Will said...
Cortez- I forget who said it, but everyone on a basketball team is a role player. Some roles are just bigger than others.

Blogger Dooj said...
Who wants to bet on Dick Bavetta being the official for tomorrow's game?

Obviously there are different types of leaders in basketball. Kobe is a leader, and you can tell this because of how his teammates act. They follow how he is playing. Not necessarily emulating him, but rather deferring to him. When he played hero ball in this game, he led his team poorly...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Man, in skimming these comments this looks like a thread I'm glad I wasn't around to participate in. The Celtics played smarter and with more determination and poise than LA did last night and that's why they won. LA is not answering Boston's challenge in these last two games and that's why they're down. But the next two games are in LA, and if the Lakers bring more smarts and intensity I think they can win two games at home. If not...

Anonymous Bill Foster said...
To paraphrase Sir Charles: "Kobe Bryant is not in the same conversation as Michael Jordan." So best leave comparisons with Jordan aside for the moment.

That said, Kobe's individual play was astonishing last night, however it was patently to the detriment of the team, as evidenced by the +/- scores before and after his run of consecutive points. I can't help but feel that Kobe stumbled into the same trap a la 2008 by acquiescing to the gameplan of the Celtics - who again laid down the gauntlet baiting Kobe into hero mode.

Bynum's injury has rendered him immobile and ineffective: even a paraplegic has a tight turning circle. Artest shat his pants big time on those free frows, and Gasol's post game went AWOL last night. Having said that, I thought the Lakers would have too much frontcourt talent for the Celtics to handle, and I'm still not entirely convinced that old school savvy will beat pure basketball talent in a best of seven series. But Rivers' is doing an astonishing job with an aging roster, the second most offensively challenged center in the NBA and a bench, who surely qualify as the most dysfunctional motley crew in the history of the NBA.

One final thought, unless Bryan Colangelo suddenly turns into the ever so charitable Chris Wallace, can't see the Raptors being stupid enough to do a S&T for Bynum. Then again, this is the Raptors we're talking about.

And as ever, thanks Basketbawful and the rest of the gang for this blog, it's provided years of fun as well as hampering my output at the workplace. Cheers!

Blogger lordhenry said...
The Lakers could have won if Pau had gotten more than five shots before the 3rd quarter. Everyone played terrible and we only lost by a few points. I'm sure everyone is ready to shovel dirt on their graves, but I'd like to think this goes to seven games. Hopefully we try harder to get the ball to the post instead of standing around and watching Kobe Time.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Cortez, go easy on the coffee, scro. "

I'm like this normally!

"'Bawful didn't say that. You did."

I'm not quite sure what you're talking about. Check the posts again. 'Bawful AGREES with me!

"...to use the cliche... trolling."

If trolling consists of calling people ace and chief and pointing out the mistakes in their nutty arguments about basketball on a basketball site dedicated to pointing out bad basketball, well, I guess I'm a troll then.

My bad.

"Mark Jackson says: 'You're better than that.'"

Mark Jackson is mistaken. I'm much worse.

"I mean, was MJ a good leader when he punched Kerr in the face?"

No.

"Or was he a good leader when he played hero ball in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals?"

Your memory is shot if you think Kobe is playing like Jordan. In fact, whether or not I like Bryant is not even the argument. I've already stated in general Bryant is fine with me. His many (basketball) flaws are apparent, as were Jordan's.

As to your point about his assists, YOU BROUGHT THAT MEANINGLESS POINT UP to imply that he was facilitating the offense as needed. I pointed out your mistaken premise of gaudy stat numbers equaling proper facilitating.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Cortez said: "Check the posts again. 'Bawful AGREES with me!"

OK... (/looks back at posts...)

Basketbawful said: "Anyway, for further reading, see what Cortez had to say about leadership."

(/flips over to what Cortez said about leadership)

Cortez said: "It's the LEADER'S job (Bryant) to make that Cool Whip into something effective. For now, it looks like Bryant's job is pouting and bitching about routine plays and getting the ball snatched out his flimsy hands then acting like someone fouled him when in reality all they did was snatch the ball out of his flimsy little hands."

Got it. Check.

Cortez then said: "Like Bawful said, it's very likely you have no concept of succeful basketball (on any level) and certainly you can't have any concept of leadership."

(/scratches head)

Anyway what do I know. I can't speak for someone else, but I didn't see 'Bawful say that anyone had "no concept of successful basketball" or that they "certainly can't have any concept of leadership". Those seem like your words, which were clearly meant to stir the pot.

Guess it worked, since I got suckered in. FML.

P.S.- I love you

Anonymous Gabe said...
This series has been great. After game 1 I heard all the talk about how great LA was. When in reality LA had four things break for them. Gasol played tough, Artest shot well, Bynum knee was healthy, and all the Boston players played uninspired/badly. If Boston didn't play so poorly on offense in game 3, the series would be over. They missed so many open shots it was ridiculous.

Fast forward to today. Gasol played soft (his usual self) Artest has been offensively challenged (his usual self this playoffs) Bynum's knee is battered, and Boston is finally playing well along with playing inspired starting in game 2. This series has been a mismatch, just like 2008.

Now things could change if the whistle happy refs come back in games 6 and 7, LA might win both of those (although its much less likely because of Bynum's knee). But its the finals, games aren't supposed to be called tightly. That's why I've liked Boston all along.

Losing Bynum is so huge for the Lakers in THIS particular series. Against Boston he's almost the Lakers best player. Big time props for him for trying to fight through his injury. He clearly has that competitive spirit that Gasol and Odom lack.

And I hope I haven't jinxed/stat cursed the Celtics by posting this.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Like Bawful said, it's very likely you have no concept of succeful basketball (on any level) and certainly you can't have any concept of leadership."

Hmmmm...let's see.

"As Cortez correctly pointed out, this hurts your rhythm..."

(successful basketball)

and

"Anyway, for further reading, see what Cortez had to say about leadership."

(implies agreement with my assessment, plus his l-o-o-o-o-n-g history of agreement with said ideal)

Wow.

So you feel your post wasn't in vain, you're right, I didn't quote 'Bawful directly.

However as you should now see, 'Bawful AGREES with my original assessment, like I said in the first place. Plus, the word AND in my sentence is important. It separated two ideas

1) successful basketball
2) leadership qualities

As for 'stirring the pot' as you put it, the pot was stirred when Sorbo jumped in to defend Kobe
(btw, with a bunch of specious arguments, arguing points I hadn't even brought up and at times countering his very own points!) when I simply asked why was Kobe flailing around like a bitch, begging for a foul, when NOTHING had happened. Especially at the closing stages of a critical game. My guess is he did it for the same reason guys call phantom fouls in pick-up games. So they don't look bad.

"Guess it worked, since I got suckered in."

Yes! Score another one for me!

Blogger Cortez said...
By the way, regardless of whether or not 'bawful agrees with me (no worries though, he does), I stand by every statement I made.

If Sorbo (or anyone else) can't see that Kobe's hero ball disrupts lesser players offensive output and that his 'style of leadership' has a high likelihood of having a negative on a team in important ways then that person

a) Has no idea about successful basketball
b) Certainly doesn't understand effective leadership

Anonymous Gabe said...
As far as Kobe goes, Cortez is onto something. It seems as if Kobe's teammates have regressed from playing with Kobe. Odom, Gasol, Bynum, and Artest (before this season) have All-Star caliber talent. Yet they've been reduced to role players, sometimes competent sometimes incompetent. And considering the triangle is supposed to be an equal opportunity offense, its more shocking that the Lakers are so Kobe-centric even surrounded by all that talent. Wade and LeBron have taken teams to the finals with a ton of less supporting talent. But the biggest advantage Kobe has had with the Lakers the past 2+ years is he's had Odom, Gasol, and Bynum to clean up a lot of his hero shots on the offensive glass. So even though the Lakers don't play as efficiently offensively as they're capable of, they still have enough overwhelming talent to win.

Personally I wouldn't enjoy playing with Kobe. Mainly because if I fuck up, I know Kobe's going to be on my ass for every little mistake I make. That wears down on you after a while, people fuck up every so often no matter how good they are. That along with Kobe doesn't like it when people try to hold him accountable when he fucks up, doesn't make him an enjoyable teammate. Its just a strong case of superdickery that his teammates have to deal with all the time. That along with his tendency to take too many low percentage shots on offense would make it deflating to play with him.

I love his competitive spirit, and I would much rather have that in a teammate than apathy (like Odom). But he just lets that get out of control way too often when things go poorly. Your true character comes out when things aren't going your way, and we've seen this from Kobe over and over again. That's what I think is wearing on his teammates and making them play worse and worse as time goes on. Its just been more badly exposed against an equal/superior team in the Celtics.

Anonymous k said...
Hero ball, teamwork, or whatever labels you guys want to use...It all does not matter. There is really no way of telling if someone is a good leader or not. Our definition of a leader basically comes from who wins because we're all detached from the teams. None of us are there every practice or every game. All we have is the sports media which deserves its own bawful site. So it does not really matter which method of "leadership" label we give winning teams bc every type has won championships. Jordan played hero ball all the way until he was 36. His last three championships, he pretty much put up the same numbers as Kobe right now. I'm not saying Kobe is as good as Jordan, because he's not. I'm saying Kobe at 31 is similar to Jordan at 34. In terms of personality, they're almost the same as admitted by Jordan, Kobe, and by other people that played with/against them. Both even admit that their personalities are almost the same. (Note to Gabe: Jordan might have punched you in the face, I doubt Kobe would go that far).

The only difference is Jordan constantly won, so no one can criticize him. You can pretty much blame the concept of hero ball on him. But then again hero ball led to six championships, so you can't blast someone from trying it bc its been proven to work. There are different forms of leadership, and all of them work in their own situations.

I don't think anyone would call Shaq a good leader, bc of how many times he came into the season out of shape or by his refusal to get surgery outside "company time." Yet he's the only person to lead his team to a three peat since Jordan.

There is really no point in debating, what type of leadership works bc none of us really know what kind of leadership these teams have. If the Celtics win, its because they can stop the Lakers from scoring better than the Lakers can stop them. In this series, NO ONE is in a good rhythm offensively. Both teams have great leaders in their own way. Every game has been close, which is why every call in this series has been dissected more than any other series in the past. Both teams have great leadership, its just that at the end one team will win and will be perceived as having "better" leaders.

But if you're a Celtics fan, feel free to keep dogging Kobe all you want....he probably deserves it haha.

Anonymous k said...
Sorry for the posts but just catching up. I also do not understand this concept of comparing offensive rhythm in a pick up basketball game to rhythm in a NBA game. Honestly, I do not think kobe's shots are ruining his teammates rhythm.

In pick up basketball I can play in 1 game be in rhythm, then lose, then sit out for 45 minutes waiting for the next game, and still be in rhythm. I don't think kobe is taking so many shots that people cannot find their rhythm. It usually takes one lay up, a strong drive, or freethrows to get into rhythm. Kobe is not preventing anyone from doing those things.

How many shots does it really take to get into a rhythm? I can go through two hours of defensive drills and still knock down ten straight freethrows at the end of practice.

Second, these shots everyone else on the Lakers are getting are the exact same ones they've been getting all year after 82 games and tons of practices. They should be used to it. Of course, there are minor adjustments due to the Celtics' defense but that's an individual reaction to the moment. I've never bought that being out of tune offensively has a direct effect on your defense. It has a direct effect on you mentally which can be overcome. Its a matter of effort and keeping your mind thinking about the play developing in front of you as you play D. Rodman never touched the ball on offense and it did not take away from his rebounding/defense. These are professionals. Its like working in a big law firm, getting cussed out, having your work torn apart, and then still being able to get your shit done ten minutes later with quality. Its being professional.

Its a fun series, and its rare to see two really good teams go at it in the finals. Lets appreciate both these teams, both their styles, and what they both bring to basketball.

Anonymous Gabe said...
K:

You're right about winning. When you win nobody questions what you do or how you do it. But....

I don't remember Jordan riding his teammates so hard PUBLICLY as Kobe does. I might be wrong about this but that's what I remember. In practice (where the Jordan-Kerr "fight" happened) Jordan may have been more of an a-hole than Kobe, but that's different. Getting shown up in public is 100x worse than what someone might say or do out of the public eye. And Jordan rarely took those deflating difficult shots that I said Kobe takes way too often. Even when Jordan was losing early in his career, I didn't see these bad habits that Kobe hasn't got rid of. Jordan inspired and elevated his teammates play, while it seems like Kobe breaks them down over time.

However to play devils advocate, is Kobe to blame or is it his weak-minded sensitive teammates? (Mainly Artest, Gasol, and Odom). Are those guys always going to fold in high pressure situations? Fisher has thrived playing next to Kobe. Nobody would confuse Fisher for being mentally weak. In fact Kobe said Fisher is the one guy he listens to when he says "Kobe, you're fucking up." The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Kobe is too harsh on his teammates PUBLICLY while Artest, Gasol, and Odom shouldn't be so mentally fragile because of criticism. However I lean more of the blame toward Kobe because being a leader is knowing how to handle different personalities. Kobe can yell and scream at Fisher and Fisher will respond appropriately, but he can't do the same thing to Artest, Gasol, and Odom. Those guys need constant encouragement (even though they shouldn't need that all the time).

None of this has mattered since the 2008 finals because the Lakers enjoyed a much superior talent advantage, and sometimes even a mental toughness edge. But facing the Celtics, a team nearly or equally as talented, the Lakers mental toughness isn't strong enough to compete with them. Can they develop that? I don't know. I think you either have it or you don't.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Look, you mentioned before I used my assist stat that Kobe's lack of passing was contributing to his team's woes. I was merely pointing out the stat, that's all. You went off talking about Wilt and Marbury, like Kobe was a statpadder.

I assume you didn't know the assist number before I told, then had to backpaddle to fit the number into your preconceived notions. I'm just asking you to try and refrain from interpreting the numbers to mean something you want them to mean. He leads his team in assists. It's a fact. Does that still mean he's shooting to much? It's possible. Could his shooting but killing his teammates confidence? Maybe. Try to consider the counter-argument before you sound off. So, going back to the beginning, you may have instigated the argument just a pinch.

Your memory is shot if you think Kobe is playing like Jordan. In fact, whether or not I like Bryant is not even the argument. I've already stated in general Bryant is fine with me. His many (basketball) flaws are apparent, as were Jordan's.

First, this is sports. You are allowed to compare players and compare their games. My goal wasn't to compare Kobe to Jordan in terms of basketball greatness, but they do have comparable qualities (assholes as teammates, want to win, good to great closers), but MJ is the all-time best. No one is saying that Kobe is better than MJ...but, I'm just using an example of someone everyone agrees was a great leader (a trait you've harped on and on about)is a person who happened to play hero ball (i.e., similar to Kobe's Game 5) in one of his career defining games: Game 6 of the 1998 Finals (the shot over Russell). Check the tape on his hero ball antics, better yet, I'll just give the statline:

-15/35 FGs, 3/7 3FGs, 12/15FTs, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 4 steals, 1 turnover, 45 points.

One assist. 35 shots (out his team's 67). 15 of this team's 19 FTs, and those FTS mean about another 5 FGs not counted in his stats. Hero ball through and through. Outcome: Championship. Sometimes, like Bawful said, hero ball wins. Last night, it didn't. It doesn't make Kobe less of a leader or Jordan more of one. Different teams play different ways in different eras and have different "family-like" dynamics, and the Lakers sometimes need Kobe to come up huge in scoring for a win (especially when none of them bother to show) and sometimes they need him to pass more.

I concede that his teammates often start watching him and stop playing, and his overshooting can slow the offense, but if you've played on an organized team before, you would know that it's also their job to tell him about it. He doesn't live in a vacuum.

BTW...I don't think you're trolling, I think this is just a heated discussion on the a style of play and player that employs that style.

@Gabe and k
I like this middle ground idea. That's what I've been going for, but maybe I came off as too heated.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'd suggest Kobe's 3rd quarter onslaught wasn't to the detriment of his team, it was the only thing that kept them from being murdered by a 20 point margin

Anonymous k said...
Kobe takes bad shots for the challenge and its terrible. But really, this time I believe its the Celtics D. No one is really taking great shots against them consistently. Tony Allen and Ray Allen are tremendous and their team D is awesome. We've already seen what Artest does when hes the one dribbling.

I cannot speculate on whether or not people are mentally tough. The truth is, whether you're mentally tougher, physically tougher, or more talented, you need to use whatever edge you have to out produce your match up. These are just all factors that make up a player. At some point, you're going to reach your peak in each factor and when you add it all up, it has to be better than what your opponent brings.

The beauty of the Celtics is that as a basketball fan, you have to love to watch their team. Each of their starting five is technically a role player. But any given night, three of their 5 starting players will find a way to out produce their opponents while the other two will keep it somewhat close with theirs. And they do it in all different ways.

For example: In the inside, no one in the NBA is as tough as Perkins in my opinion. He's not talented on offense, but he is damn tough on defense in terms of his concentration/effort (mental) and physical power. He may not win every match up, but he can win most and keep it close with the rest.

I am quite confident that the Celtics and Lakers both have great game plans and their players understand them. It is no longer a matter of encouragement. If the Celtics win, its just that they have, on average, a better player in every position against the Lakers bc of match up (whether it be physical/mental/talent).

For example: Odom is never going to beat Big Baby off the dribble because Baby's too quick. Odom is not going to be able to back Baby in bc hes too strong. Odom can only shoot over Davis and really that's already a win.

This idea of winning the match up battle is maximized in the playoffs bc everyone already knows what they are going to do and it just comes down to getting stops. At the end of the day, if the Celtics win, its going to be because Rondo can play the PG position better than Fisher for most of the minutes, Pierce can contribute more than artest in the stats that matter for a shooting/small forward, KG (if healthy) can outperform Gasol, and Perkins can keep whoever hes guarding close to his level of production. It's really that simple.

Also, Ray Ray might out perform Kobe in this next game just because at some point his threes are going to start raining in.

If the Celtics win, its bc their team is just better than the Lakers and their players can win the position battles. No excuses, thats it.

In this world, there are very few people who knows/can motivate every type of personality. Nash can be a great leader for all we know (I think he is), but he's still not motivating Amar'e to average more than 6 rebounds per game. We can't ask every team captain in the league to be God. At some point, players will have to be accountable for themselves and improve on what they can when there's time.

But yes, Kobe should not have criticized his teammates publicly. I'm against it personally bc its like an ex posting status updates about how you're an asshole on facebook. But lets face it, its only wrong if the Lakers lose. Bc if they win, then Kobe just "motivated" his teammates by calling them out in public. Perspective is so awesome that it sucks.

If you want to dumb things down, Lakers lose bc Odom is not shooting 48% from downtown like last year haha. But gotta love how balanced the Celtics are. I'm just happy how this series is being played. I hope it goes 7.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Nevermind. I give up. I was just trying to make the point that hero ball was the Lakers best option last night, given the Lakers lack of effort. That's all. Cortez took a joke the wrong way (kobe's acting like Pierce) and this shit was blown out of proportion, in which I contributed. With that said: Redeem me tomorrow, Kobe! Redeem! Me!

Blogger Preveen said...
This seems somewhat catch-22. Ride the player whos hot (and make no mistake, Kobe was on fire, it was ridiculous) and leave the rest of the team standing about or distribute trying to get the others involved when they aren't gonna be effective?
The best players know to find open teammates when they are hot. For one, the defense knows your hot and is focused on you, so your teammates will have less attention, and two if you start passing and your team mates start getting quality shots, it becomes "pick your poison" for the defense.

Maybe its a coaching fault. Just coz someone is on fire doesn't mean everyone else should stand around watching. They can still hustle, get in place for O.Rebs, set screens, work the refs. Set up the hot hand to move without the ball to get easy shots. Do something. Hot shooting streaks end. As Ray will confirm.
Its a team thing. The team must have that mentality. Shouldn't that be the coaches job? Telling them that? "Yes he's hot we are gonna ride it a while, now go do x,y etc and distract the defense"
Should guys like Kobe be trying to get involved? Should his teammates look to actively get themselves involved instead of standing around?

And this isn't a diss on Kobe, but the Gold medal game, I thought Wade had the bigger impact. Yes, Kobe had the dagger and the "shush" sign to the crowd (wasn't that a 4 point play?). But still, I thought D-Wade had more overall impact. Of course, I am slightly biased :)

On a more amusing note, see D-Wade's kid playing video games while the Kobe Show was playing? JVG going "He's not interested, he's thinking 'My dad can do that'". Worthy of a grin.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I'd suggest Kobe's 3rd quarter onslaught wasn't to the detriment of his team, it was the only thing that kept them from being murdered by a 20 point margin."
That's entirely plausible. For those of you saying that Kobe scoring big was the REASON they went down a few points, well you need to first open an introductory text on statistics and look up causality (this is why the +/- is a particularly poor stat in my opinion) and then shut the fck up with this talk of "hero ball"....the parallels to your YMCA rec games aren't exactly helpful.

Blogger Mark said...
When you play ball and you're a big factor in rebounding and (inside) scoring there is nothing more devastating than a trigger happy guard going into "hero-mode".
I've experienced it several times and, granted I am not a professional athlete, it takes away a lot of motivation to keep continuing on crashing the boards, setting screens and cutting the lanes.

When you are involved in the offense and your teammates play together and (most of all) smart, you automatically crash the boards and take up the intensity on both ends.
When a teammate goes into hero-mode and ignores better options you do not feel the drive for rebounding or cutting the lane because you feel it is futile....

Ergo, Kobe is demotivating his teammates imo.

Anonymous Gabe said...
In this world, there are very few people who knows/can motivate every type of personality. Nash can be a great leader for all we know (I think he is), but he's still not motivating Amar'e to average more than 6 rebounds per game. We can't ask every team captain in the league to be God. At some point, players will have to be accountable for themselves and improve on what they can when there's time.


Great point. Kobe's biggest weakness is he came after Jordan, and he's the closest we have in the NBA to Jordan. But he's still not close to Jordan. All his faults, perceived and real, are magnified because of this. His teammates have tons of talent, but most of them don't have the backbone to deal with adversity, whether its from Kobe or from the game itself. I just think Kobe could do a much better job of not showing up his teammates when things go bad and taking better shots in general. It looks pretty when they go in, but its demoralizing when they don't. Kobe's skillset is so tremendous, even better than Jordan's, Kobe shouldn't have to take so many tough shots. That's what drives me nuts about him.

And about Amare, I can only figure out one reason for his rebounding woes. He's a free agent this upcoming season, and wanted to minimize physical contact as much as possible to prevent injury so he can cash in. After all he has had two horrific injuries, the knee and the eye. I don't agree with that mindset, but that doesn't surprise me from him. After all he did nickname himself STAT.

Blogger Vasco said...
It's interesting how Artest when joining the Lakers said that if they don't win it would be on him and now that he is fucking up big time he's saying that they're doing it together.

And I want to share my love for the "Say 'Queensbridge' NOW, Ron!" comment which my game.

I read all the commentaries in here about how apparently the Lakers are broken, have no will or leadership, are soft and injured. Can't wait for the end of game 7 commentaries.

Blogger Cortez said...
"You went off talking about Wilt and Marbury, like Kobe was a statpadder. "

Did I really? Or did I give two crystal clear examples to help show that high assist totals do not equate proper facilitating? Then after you made this mistake the first time, I went on to explain (not in this many words) that I wasn't suggesting the Bryant is going out to pad his stats (like Wilt) but that he was getting assist numbers like Marbury because he has the ball so much.

How did you miss that?

I see what is happening here now. Your love for Bryant (and the Lakers) does not allow you to follow a back and forth debate clearly. Hell, I could point out at least 3 examples of you countering your own arguments or making arguments about stuff I NEVER SAID (and no reasonable person could imply).

The Lakers have been winning primarily because of their talent disparity and, despite his leadership flaws, Bryant is a historic top-tier basketball player.

A military juggernaut doesn't need a (effective) leader against a boy scout troop. The Celtics just happen to be a bit higher than troop #137, even though they are not as talented top to bottom.

I'm done, bossman, have at it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I read all the commentaries in here about how apparently the Lakers are broken, have no will or leadership, are soft and injured. Can't wait for the end of game 7 commentaries.

Make no mistake. Worst of the Night entries, while pointing out trends, are meant to focus on one specific game. In Game 5, the Lakers played soft and couldn't seem to get their shit together. That's just how it was. And obviously things could change dramatically in L.A. We'll have to wait and see.

Anonymous Grok said...
@Anonymouse""I'd suggest Kobe's 3rd quarter onslaught wasn't to the detriment of his team, it was the only thing that kept them from being murdered by a 20 point margin"

The Lakers scored 26 in the 3rd period (total) the Celtics 28. I think it was Doc Rivers, in one of those ridiculous 15 second sideliner interviews, who said "If Kobe didn't score 'em, somebody else would have... "

I think that Kobe's 'clinic' was indeed to the detriment of his team... or will you contend that of the truly tough shots that Kobe took, no one on the team had a better look? They were tough shots and he took them... but there were better passes that he passed up.

And Kobe knows this. Late in the third period he started trying to get his teammates involved. But it was too late.

Blogger Japes said...
Either way, game 6 is a must win for BOTH teams. If LA wins, I just don't see Boston winning game 7 on the road. So this next game will probably decide the championship...

Links to this post:
Create a Link