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Poll question: How would you rank Kobe Bryant's game-winning shots?

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It's fair to say most Lakers fans have moved beyond amazement regarding Kobe Bryant's clutch performances, and that includes his four game-winning shots so far this season.

After Bryant made one Wednesday in the Lakers' 100-95 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, I wondered which game-winning shot this season impressed the readers of the Lakers blog the most. That doesn't just mean which shot appeared most clutch and which play seemed more amazing to pull off. It also means which sequence seemed more unlikely to happen  given the team dynamic during that respective game. It also means considering what odds Bryant had to overcome himself with the fractured index finger he has played through since Dec. 11, and now recently with his back spasms.

Watch the videos below after the jump and consider for yourself. I'd love to  see your vote in the poll at the bottom and read your perspective in the comments section. Underneath each video is a brief synopsis of Bryant's game-winner and the circumstances of that game in case you need a quick brushing-up.

Jan 15, 2010: Lakers' 100-95 victory over Dallas Mavericks

Go to the 1:28 mark in the video above to see Bryant dribble past Mavericks guard Josh Howard and pull up on the block for a 19-foot jumper, giving the Lakers a 97-95 lead with 28.9 seconds remaining.

It capped a 10-point performance and a day that began as early as 5 a.m. His personal massage therapist took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles and gave Mamba four hours of treatment at his Dallas hotel. Bryant wasn't going to let anything, such as flaring back spasms, cause him to miss a game for health reasons for the first time since Dec. 2006.

Still, Bryant spent the entire second quarter laying on a thick cushion in front of the team bench and ended a nondescript first half with zero points and only one shot. But in the end, he made the shot that mattered the most, clinching the Lakers' victory.

"I thought I was done," Bryant told reporters. "That's all I wanted to do, was be able to run."

Jan. 1, 2010: 109-108 victory over Sacramento Kings

With the Lakers facing a 20-point deficit and the reserves being badly outscored, 28-11, the Lakers had no business winning this game. But they were in a position to do so because Sacramento's Ime Udoka missed two free throws with 4.8 seconds remaining.

After making contact with Kings guard Sergio Rodriguez, who slipped and fell, Bryant took a wide-open pass from Pau Gasol in the left corner. The shot swished in the net as time expired, capping a six-game surge in which he averaged nearly 40 points. Despite an avulsion fracture in his right index finger, Bryant had played all but 45 seconds. He also continued his hot shooting; during an 11-game stretch, he made 47% of his shots while taking at least 23 per game.

Dec. 16, 2009: 108-107 overtime win @ Milwaukee Bucks

Bryant had a chance to end the game in regulation, but he missed a 16-footer from the left side as time expired in regulation.

In overtime, it appeared the Bucks were on their way to a win after Luke Ridnour's 15-footer gave Milwaukee a 106-100 lead with 1:25 left.

But that was enough time for Bryant to make some late-game heroics and make up for his missed shot in the fourth quarter.

He made a nine-footer and then scored on an awkward shot in the lane. The referees then called a blocking foul on Andrew Bogut. Bryant made the free throw, cutting the Bucks' lead to 106-105 with 48.6 seconds left in OT.

Mamba's game-winning shot was in the same location as his miss in the fourth quarter, drilling a 15-footer over Charlie Bell as time expired. Bryant finished with 39 points, including scoring the game's last seven.

Said Bryant to reporters: "I've taken that shot a thousand times." But that time was only five days after injuring his right index finger.

Dec. 4, 2009: 108-107 win over Miami Heat

The Lakers shot only 43% and made just 3 of 15 three-pointers until Derek Fisher and Bryant delivered clutch three-pointers in the final five seconds.

Bryant's came after Miami guard Dwyane Wade missed one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining. Mamba took an inbounds pass from Ron Artest near the left sideline, went toward the middle of the court and then shot a fall-away desperation 27-foot shot from the top of the key.

The shot banked in and capped a 33-point performance.

Said Bryant to reporters: "I didn't think I was going to make that shot."

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant spent much of the second quarter on his back after attempting to play through back spasms in the first quarter. He ended up scoring all 10 of his points in the second half, including eight in the third quarter, to help the Lakers hold off the Mavericks, 100-95. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press.

 
Comments () | Archives (57)

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Regardless if the 3 point shot was a bank, it still required body control and discipline. Some may call it lucky, but it takes a beautiful mind and sharp body to deliver that trajectory. I say the 3 point bank against Miami.

The Bucks shot was really a man move from both PJ and Kobe. That was a brilliant PJ-Kobe shot plan. Though Kobe was the string section, Pj had the maestro stick.

Sacramento to me was a real "Are you kidding me to Ron Artest during the 2009 Houston series" type shot. Straight out God Father like I got this. Just get out of the way.

@ Long Time Laker Fan

Would you do a Morrison/Vujacic swap for Caron Butler/Crittenton it works on the ESPN trade machine. Wizards are having a Fire sale and they would save almost $5 million the following year.

Long time no chat and I hope you are well LTLF.

Long Time Laker Fan
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
While I have always liked Calderon, there is ZERO way the Lakers are going to trade for him. Not only does Calderon earn $8M this year but he also has 3 more years for a total of $29M. That means accepting $37M in salary (plus another $37M in luxury taxes for a point guard who does not play any better defense than Fisher or Farmar. And giving away Ammo’s expiring contract, which would save the Lakers $10M in salary and luxury tax next year. No way Buss is going to spend that kind of money on Calderon. The far more logical move financially would be to give Farmar a qualifying offer of $2.8 and wait for Kurt to give us Rubio. :)
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Tom

@ Mamba24

Thanks for the reply!

LakerTom,


If the Wolves ever did give us Rubio you think POP might have something to say?


BD

#4:

You wrote: "sorry I couldn't join the crew for game chat. "

Thanks for letting us know every one noticed your absence, hahahaha!!

Sir Charles, to paraphrase a commercial; A day without a post from Sir Charles is a day without sunshine! Good to see your post.
*

SAY A PRAYER FOR HAITI - BANDWAGON
*
(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER - know what is tougher - you are unemployed and without the millions of these two individuals and sick too without any medical coverage, that is tougher. Equally tougher, you are buried in rubble in Haiti and you don't know if you will ever see a light. That is so far the toughest.One idea, why don't they charter one Boeing 707 jet, fill it up with goods, food, medicine and money from fans and whoever want to give and bring it to rural folks who have not eaten for the last two days? M/M, is there any kind help you may have heard from the Lakers? Can you please ask them during interviews?

(02) TRUTH BE TOLD - DRIVER - I second Edwin Guecos motion on the great people of Haiti
(03) MAMBA24 - I also vote aye on Edwins motion and God bless Haiti.
(04) #4 You got another aye vote.
(05) LAKERTOM - RIDING SHOTGUN - How can we all not be on the Help for Haiti Bandwagon.

IT WAS NICE TO SEE HOPS in Drew's legs in the last couple of games but NO Block in last nite's game?

Mamba 24
Please put me back on the Laker bandwagon it appears that I was removed by accident or maybe not ? Thanks !

While Kobe has had many great game winning shots, I find it much more relevant now to give him a 'shot" at healing himself for the bigger test ahead of us, and that's winning another NBA championship. Who are We...Lakers!!

I vote all of above but gotta say, TEAM victory was last night's headline.

LO hit big shots, the Farm hit big shots, Andrew played clutch D on Dirk at the end, Ron stepped up.

Love 24 but this was all about a watershed team moment. He has a way of gettin' headlines, deservedly so, but love the confidence builder that had to have been for the rest of the roster.

Good Morning Charles....Good Morning Everyone...

great game last night...how rewarding it was to see the Lakers fight for that one, quite refreshing, as it were, seemingly...

Kobe let his competitivness get out of hand and work against him (and the team) a few times with ill advised shots, but all in all played a good calculated game considering his condition...and yet another clutch shot to add to his legacy, seemingly...

hopefully his comments and his example is taken to heart by the rest of the team and we reach yet another plateu of focus and deditcation...I see nothing but good things ahead, as one of our good friends (Let's Go L's) here on the blog is often wont to say "Pride through any and all adversity"---yeah verily yeah brother...

well didn't see Mark Cuban's face , but Coach Jim Carey's said it all for him last night...

the Dallas announcers were way too concerned about Dirk (who never closes his mouth---ever...) getting his 20,000 point...guess they got what they wanted...

I did resent what they said about Mbenga...he more than earns his paycheck bubs, in practice everyday making Pau and Bynum work hard, and when he is called upon to play, he gives the team a more than effective back up center with energy and passion, plays energetic defense, blocks shots and can make his shots as well, albeit sometimes takes an ill advised shot or two, but I usually have confidence in his shooting...

more confidence than I have in Fisher's shooting lately...I cringe every time he shoots...hope he can pull himself out of this slump soon...and hope he doesn't shoot to do it, ha
ha...

glad I am not a Clipper fan (where's that spork to fall on they all shout in unison)...

"there beneath the blue suburban skies I sit and meanwhile back"

"it's wafer thin"

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Long Time Laker Fan,

great to see you back

GO LAKERS !!!

#4:

You wrote: "sorry I couldn't join the crew for game chat. "

Thanks for letting us know every one noticed your absence, hahahaha!!


Posted by: lakerfan | January 14, 2010 at 11:23 AM


Actually the purpose was to inform in case there were any imposters. But now you've chosen to sarcastically mock me where I had no beef nor quarrel with you previously.

I'm asking that you not to talk to me, nor include in your games, even if I'm unnamed yet implied. I have no recourse but to point out your that your intentions aren't pure and your interaction with me is not wanted by me.

Medina.


Good Kobe poll!

Without a doubt the biggest shot was last night. Remember people he'd just missed two shots, one of them an airball and he was obviously in pain from the back spasms.

Despite these circumstances Kobe found the strength to gather himself and sink the game winner!!


And speaking of Andrew... he's slowly but surely steppin' up onto the next rung of the ladder.

As mentioned, that little close out on Dirk at the end probably saved us an overtime. With each minute of experience, he's learning what works and what doesn't on both ends of the floor against each player. Can't practice that.

He may become whatever, fun to predict, but the now is workin' and that's what counts.

Mamba24, thanks for putting me on the Haiti bandwag. I can't imagine the pain and suffering these people are going through.

lakerfan -

Blocks are overrated. Bynum changed several shots around the rim and did an amazing job closing out on Dirk on the final possession. Blocks and steals are highly inaccurate measures of a player's defensive contributions, and I think Drew's performance last night is an example of that.

As far as ranking Kobe's shots this year, I'd put them in this order:

#1 - Miami
#2 - Bucks
#3 - Mavericks
#4 - Kings (buzzer beater, yes, but he was WIDE open)

Nice to see bynum get his INTENSITY back... What a nice surprise to see him go agressively right at big scary dampier and get him in early foul trouble and not back down. That was the difference in the game... Lakers controlled the paint.

But the REAL LITMUS TEST will be when gasols back in the lineup this friday... Let's hope he can keep up this high level of energy.

Will be crossing my fingers.. May god be with us!


BD
- - - - - -
>>> If the Wolves ever did give us Rubio you think POP might have something to say?
-
POP would probably have palpitations and a mild heart attack. The crazy trade that actually might happen is the Shaq and his expiring contract for CP3. The Hornets are losing money fast just like the Grizzlies were with Pau’s big contract and no playoffs. Getting out of CP3’s contract could save them millions of dollars in losses. For the Cavs, I think they are worried that Shaq is not going to be enough to win this year so their best bet might be to get another great player like CP3 and count on him and the extra year they can give LeBron to keep him in Cleveland. It’s Jon K’s bar patrons favorite trade idea but it does make some sense.
- - - - - -
Tom

I loved the Miami shot, from an amazing shot perspective, it was the most incredible shot of the 4. Personally I enjoyed the Sacto one more since I was watching it and was so upset and never thought they had a chance after they fouled, then Kobe made me remember why we have to fear and respect the mamba

Lakerfan
- - - - - -
>>> IT WAS NICE TO SEE HOPS in Drew's legs in the last couple of games but NO Block in last nite's game?
-
Seriously, that was the best news the last two games. We all wondered why Drew was not jumping over the moon like a beast. The answer is obviously that two season-ending back-to-back January knee injuries can do that to you. Maybe we won’t have to wait until next year for Drew to finally recover mentally and physically from the knee injuries. And I would sure put him on the pine when we play Memphis there on February 1st.
- - - - - -
Tom

Hey Mark,

Last night when you posted a poll question on the live chat, it froze me out of the chat and I could not sign back in. I even tried logging in from a different computer. It's like it thinks I'm still signed in or something. Is there a way to fix this so I can log back in in the future?

The Miami shot was more flashy, but that wide open three and the one against the Mavs were the two most premeditated. Those where the stone cold killer pair. They are more worthy of The Mamba.

For those reasons, those two are my favorites.

--FEARless

Zaira,
We all love your posts and your attitude and everyone admires your amazing skills in English. Fantastic writing and in my opinion,you are one of the three Hall of Fame ladies we've had on this list. I don't want to exclude any other worthies, but for the two others I count Faith and a Filipina journalist who was with us a few years ago and then - alas - dropped out. Her English wasn't perfect - sometimes sureal - but she had a penetrating mind and a deep love of the Lakers.

As interference between languages occurs to all of us who live between two or more cultures, leading to mistakes even in our native language, I thought it wise to point out that some readers on the list may not have understood when you expressed the wish that Kobe would be "sane". "Sano" in Italian, like "sain" in French -from which the English word "sane" is derived - means physically healthy. The problem is that "sane" in English only applies to mental health.

No criticism intended. I just don't want other readers to think that you considered Kobe not to be sane!

And we all want the same thing... a healthy and victorious team.

KOBE versus JORDAN:

I completely disagree that defenses were tougher in the 80's and 90's. Sure there was no handcheck rule, but defenses in the NBA have evolved in the past 15 years like no other time in NBA history (zones, hybrid zones, double teams off the ball, delayed doubles, etc.). There were plenty of SGs that shot over 50% in the 80's. There are very few in today's game because defenses are much more complex and players are more athletic. Quite simply, players have evolved and the game has evolved. For these reasons along with the fact that Kobe came to the NBA out of high school, came off the bench, and had to play as the #2 option for most of his career with the lane clogged by Shaq, it's IMPOSSIBLE to accurately compare Kobe and Jordan's stats.

What we can do is compare Kobe and Jordan's skills and strengths. Here's a comparison between the two and who has the edge:

- KILLER INSTINCT - Even
- CLUTCHNESS - Even
- WORK ETHIC - Even
- FUNDAMENTALS - Even
- ATHLETICISM - Slight edge to JORDAN who jumped quicker and had larger hands.
- OUTSIDE SHOOTING - KOBE's outside range is unquestionably superior to Jordan's.
- OFFENSIVE ARSENAL - KOBE has more offensive moves than Jordan ever had. Granted, one of the reasons is because Kobe had the benefit of watching Jordan play, and added on to it, but that goes back to my original point - the players and the game have evolved.
- PASSING - Slight edge to Kobe. As Phil Jackson noted, Kobe has more responsibilities (being a playmaker, running the offense, and guarding the best player) than Jordan ever had. Pippen was the real point guard for the Bulls.
- DEFENSE - Even. If Kobe played in an era that allowed hand checking, his defense would look even better. If you watched the Oympics qualifying tournament and the Olympics, where physical perimeter defense was allowed, than you know what I'm talkin about. Let's not forget that Pippen was the defensive stopper for the Bulls, and usually guarded the best player. Kobe has been guarding the best player his entire career.
- ABILITY TO PLAY THROUGH INJURIES - KOBE, although Jordan was no slouch in this department.
- TREATMENT FROM THE REFS AND THE LEAGUE - Huge edge goes to JORDAN. Everyone from Stern to the refs loved Jordan, and the refs made sure the NBA's biggest commodity was well protected. Kobe, on the other hand, has been been in an uphill battle ever since Colorado. He was enemy #1 for Stern, Stu Jackson, the refs, the media and the fans for a long time. It's fair to say that Kobe had to play with more scrutiny and more pressure.
- COMPETITION - KOBE, hands down. Although the elite teams are elite in any era, the number of quality teams and players in today's game is much higher throughout the league. Jordan also played in the expansion era, which happened to coincide with the 73 win season. There is no way in hell that Craig Ehlo or Jeff Hornaceck would be guarding Kobe one on one with a playoff game on the line in today's NBA.
-CHAMPIONSHIPS -JORDAN wins 6-4, but Kobe is catching up.

Jordan was more dominant throughout his career in HIS ERA, but as far as who is the better basketball player, I give the slight edge to Kobe based on his superior skill set and tougher competition.

Add me Mamba please in the Haiti bandwagon.

Haiti needs ALL the help we can give. This is where CARING happens.

"How would you rank Kobe Bryant's game-winning shots? "

Alphabetically, by height.

MAMBA24 - please put me on the bandwagon for Haitian Relief. And please spread the message that there are many different ways that people can help. Thanks.

Oh man, tough choice - I mean, they were all so great, each in their own way. I voted for the one against the Kings, only because of the way he shed Udoka, essentially breaking the poor kid's ankles in the process - and that it happened right in front of Westphal and the Kings' bench. Obviously the one against Wade and the Heat was awesome for the sheer athleticism of it. But the one last night was truly special given the context in which it came in - overcoming the back spasms that would've sidelined any other player in the league. And it wasn't just the shot, but the heads-up foul of Erick Dampier as well which truly did seal the deal.

Kobe is simply amazing - a gift from the heavens. I just feel truly blessed to be a Laker fan and to be living through the Kobe Bryant era. He transcends "clutch" - he is the synergist that binds this team and imbues everyone wearing the purple and gold with a belief in the possibility of greatness on a daily basis.

it is difficult to choose any one in particular, so i want to vote for each of them for different reason. and yes, each encompasses, skill, difficulty - beating the buzzer, but also winning the game, not a shot to tie the game, so the risk to lose the game is there - endurance, excellent timing and level of spectacle.

so i will award all of them with a different spin:

Miami: difficulty
Milwaukee: creating the perfect clutch shot - the NBA logo needs a new silhouette. this was the shot that tied him up with MJ
Sacramento: timing/spectacular- is there anything less than 0.01 to be awarded as "made" (remember the long conference the zebras had before approving it)
Dallas: endurance

@EDWIN GUECO, OUT FREAKING STANDING!! KUDOS EDWIN!
*
SAY A PRAYER FOR HAITI - BANDWAGON
*
(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER - know what is tougher - you are unemployed and without the millions of these two individuals and sick too without any medical coverage, that is tougher. Equally tougher, you are buried in rubble in Haiti and you don't know if you will ever see a light. That is so far the toughest.One idea, why don't they charter one Boeing 707 jet, fill it up with goods, food, medicine and money from fans and whoever want to give and bring it to rural folks who have not eaten for the last two days? M/M, is there any kind help you may have heard from the Lakers? Can you please ask them during interviews?
Thank you Laker Nation for joining the bandwagon. These are the grateful voices of survivors out there. Laker F/O should spearhead this campaign
(02) TRUTH BE TOLD - DRIVER - I second Edwin Guecos motion on the great people of Haiti
(03) LAKERTOM - RIDING SHOTGUN - How can we all not be on the Help for Haiti Bandwagon.
(04) #4 You got another aye vote. I can't imagine the pain and suffering these people are going through.
(05) MAMBA24 - I also vote aye on Edwins motion and God bless Haiti.
(06) ZAIRA AMATERASU - def sign me up for the Haiti bandwagon. Definitely.
(07) CHUCK23
(08) FEARLESS - Put me on the Haiti bandwagon forthwith. I'm even having my high school classes say a prayer that all will be OK.
(09)KB BLITZ - Add me please in the Haiti bandwagon.
(10)

While Kobe has had many great game winning shots, I find it much more relevant now to give him a 'shot" at healing himself for the bigger test ahead of us, and that's winning another NBA championship. Who are We...Lakers!!

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | January 14, 2010 at 11:44 AM


~~I did not post this one. Can you please publish the email address of the person who impersonated my name? That's the only way M/M you can eliminate these impostors by meting some kind of punishment or embarassment or else they will ruin the LAT blog.

LakerTom,

Please say "it ain't so," on the Shaq for CP3 trade. What I couldn't understand is regardless of the $$ situation, CP3 is signed for a couple more years and is the heart of the franchise. Talk about losing $$, no one would come to see NO play without CP3, in my opinion. The team might gain some $$ now, but would lose long term, unless they want to move out of NO.
What I would like (perhaps?) is a CP3 for Drew swap. Would be about equal in the $$ department and give both teams what they need. It's a little risky with the overall health of our big guys, but to me, the Bosh for Bynum doesn't make quite as much sense. Your thoughts anyone?

much belated kudos to CornerJ and Edwin for their elequent posts a few threads back...great to see someone is pushing some sanity here, as it were...

GO LAKERS !!!

Thank you Mamba 24 and the others who joined the Haiti bandwagon.

We are all appealing to the Lakers owner, Jerry Buss and Clippers owner, Don Sterling and Staples CEO, Tim Leiweike please team up and charter a plane. There are 100,ooo victims and possible millions of injured out there and there are no hospitals around to take care of the injured. If you supply the logistics, I'm sure there are volunteers of MD's, Surgeons, Nurses, Aides and other support group to go to Haiti. i am sure there will be donations of cots, tents and other needed to put up a makeshift hospital. Tomorrow, it is game day. If word comes out, I'm sure all attendees will bring some clothing, canned goods or some unexpired medicines on their medical cabinets that can be put into use and/or donate cash or even donate blood through Red Cross..... what is needed is your leadership in heading the fund drive.

Mamba 24, please put these three owners as the head of the bandwagon instead of me and whoever can tweet, email or communicate with them please extend them the word. We don't need any kind credit but just appealing for their generosity because we are running of time.

Thank you Mr. Buss, Mr Sterling and Mr. Leiweike

From: Concerned Lakers & Clippers Fans

Of all them, I actually like the Kings one best. It was a nicely diagramed play. If you watch the replay of the whole court and are familiar with Phil or Frank's thought processes on plays like this (and indeed, basketball overall), you can see what was intended for each player actually worked.

First and foremost, Kobe set the screen on a smaller man, causing the switch. Why Rodriguez thought it was smart to fall down at that point was beyond me, but regardless, you have Kobe shooting over a smaller guard.

On the otherside of the court, you've got shooters keeping their man honest, you've got Gasol taking his man away from the hoop and passing the ball over the defense.

...and in the end, you have Omri Casspi cursing the high heavens for losing their Superbowl, twice, LOL.

That was my favorite, but I'll take em all without question.

LakerTom,

We forget that Drew is coming back from almost 2 years of serious injury that would put an ordinary being in a state of depression or even quit. I do see glimpses of his old self and I for one thinks that his lack luster play has more to do with injury than chemistry with Pau.

with Hobbit and LAKER TRUTH i started to feel safe, sane striving for saint-hood.

puddle:

Agree blocks are over rated. Bynum's presence in the paint alone is worth many changed shots and the opposing teams are very cognizant of his presence as well.

"I completely disagree that defenses were tougher in the 80's and 90's. Sure there was no handcheck rule, but defenses in the NBA have evolved in the past 15 years like no other time in NBA history (zones, hybrid zones, double teams off the ball, delayed doubles, etc.)"

The Myth of Zone Defense:

Dirk Nowitzki on the Zone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA1CJp0w9Rs&feature=player_embedded#

"Nobody in this league GETS AWAY with LONG stretches with playing a quarter of *Zone*"

"We want to became a good MAN to MAN team not a good Zone team".

About the Celtics 2008 Defense and the myth they use Zone:

"Thibodeau's (Boston assistant coach/defensive schemer) defensive scheme is a bug-free marriage of hardware and software. The programming is straight out of the Van Gundy manual: Keep the ball out of the paint, shrink the floor by overloading defenders to one side and try to contest every shot. Rarely does Thibodeau tweak the game plan by calling a variety of sets from the sideline. The Celtics are committed to their basic *man-to-man* principles , and when a certain approach isn't working, the staff's first adjustment is to demand greater effort."

Rick Adelman on using Zone Defense: (For those newbie Laker fans Adelman coaches 2 teams the Lakers hated--Portland and Sacramento, Houston isn't as hated).

“I never liked it. Sometimes it throws a team out of whack. I think it’s good to change up once in a while or take someone out of their comfort zone. I’ve always found, in the NBA especially, it kind of lets people off the hook as far as their responsibilities for defending. Now you’re telling them, ‘No, you’re just playing a spot.’ It lets people just stand around, instead of having responsibilities for their man and helping their teammates.”

From ESPN when Detroit's Flip Saunders (More of a Offensive Guru than a Defensive one):

"They've been so open that Saunders waited only one day before running the proud Pistons through some zone concepts. He sees too much length, quickness and athleticism on Detroit's front line to resist the idea, even though he knows that the Pistons of [Larry] Brown vintage were adamant that real men don't zone."

Note: Larry Brown took that Pistons team TWICE to the NBA Finals (winning one in 2004 against LA Lakers with a defensive oriented team over Saunder's Pistons which got many season wins but choked in the ECF 3 TIMES.


How easier it is today's NBA is offensively:

Tex Winter has seen basketball for HALF a decade and his interpretation on today's game defense:

"Players today can get to the basket individually much easier."

Rod Thorn on the subject:

"The NBA itself (Rod Thorn) admits that the new rules (no handchecking, defensive 3 seconds) were put in place to "open up the game"

Clyde Drexler:

" Oh, tremendously better, from shooting percentage to points per game everything would be up, and our old teams would score a lot more points, and that is saying something because we could score a lot back then. I do think there should be an asterisk next to some of these scoring leaders, because it is much different trying to score with a forearm in your face. It is harder to score with that resistance. You had to turn your back on guys defending you back in the day with all the hand checking that was going on. For guys who penetrate these days, it's hunting season. Yes, now you can play (floating)zone(legally), but teams rarely do."

Straight from NBA.Com:

"As we've noted before, when the NBA started re-enforcing the hand-checking rule more stringently before the 2004-05, it may have been the most significant rules decision since the three-point line was added before the 1979-80 season. Instead of opposing guards being able to sink a meat-hook into a guy's side and direct him all over the court, the keep-your-hands-to-yourself edict has allowed basketball to be played closer to the way the good Dr. James Naismith intended when he wrote up the original 13 rules in 1891.

One of the interesting things about the rule is it also allows guards to go where most guards haven't been able to go before -- close to the hoop.

Check out the photo above. Parker is excellent at breaking down a defense. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom Parker torched en route to a Finals MVP.

While his speed can get him close to the rack, his decent outside shot can keep the defense honest. If he finds his line of sight impeded near the rim, Roger Mason or Michael Finley are patiently waiting for the kick-out pass in the short corner.

As you can see in a play like that, the marriage of the two significant rule changes (hand-checking, three-point line) work to make the game more fluid and well-spaced in the half-court.

And it's not only speedy dudes like Parker or Paul or two-time MVP Steve Nash who benefit from this rule re-enforcement. Strong point guards such as Williams, who also benefits from playing in a high-side pick-and-roll offense, who can work their way past smaller guards without being poked in the side along the way.

Williams, some of you may remember, was No. 10 in our first Race to the MVP this season, even though he hadn't played a game because of injury. Since the calendar flipped to 2009, Williams has averaged a double-double with 22.1 points and 10.8 assists per game. Yes, folks, those are MVP-type digits."

Last but not least:

http://ballerblogger.com/2009/02/04/cuban-helped-eliminate-handchecking/

"The NBA eliminated all forms of hand-checking before the 2004-2005 season. The rule was intended to give offensive players more freedom, but has given offensive players an unfair advantage. It’s virtually impossible to keep perimeter players out of the paint."

And even from Cuban's own mouth after seeing Kobe struggle in the 2004 Finals against Detroit:

"At that point it dawned on me that the concept of playing the advantage in a one on one matchup had nothing to do with which TEAM gained the advantage. After all, its the team that scores the most points that wins. Detroit had a brilliant strategy and was playing it to perfection. After the finals, I sat down with the league and discussed with them the difference between player and team advantage. The discussion lead to changing the rules so that perimeter contact was called far more often."

Stu Lantz Pre-Season Game in Ontario California 2009:

"Who would want to be a defensive guard in today's NBA you can't handcheck".

Later when the Lakers faced Detroit in Staples when Kobe drew a foul against Ben Gordon:

"Like you see there, since you can't be as physical..you can't HANDCHECK you will draw the foul and Kobe goes for 2 shots (free throws".

So.....try something else than the garbage that today's defense is superior to the past when almost every NBA EXPERT (2 Laker experts in Stu and Tex) say otherwise LAKER TRUTH.

This is also for those who keeps blasting Derek Fisher's man to man defense. YES he is old. Yes he is 35. And being D-Fish of 2002 would make it better but not by much....the NBA has grown too offensive oriented to make him really play defense against PG's.

lakerfan,
- - - - - - -
Excellent post. I realized in the back of my mind, of course, that most guys who had back-to-back season-ending knee injuries would not be fully recovered until the second year after they returned but I chose to ignore that reality, especially after Drew started out so good with Pau injured with hamstring #1. Here’s hoping that Drew has gotten the message from Phil and Kobe not to defer once Pau returns. As the young stud in this lineup, Drew has some pretty respected and proven players above him in the pecking order. He needs to be very aggressive and active. Easier said than done when you have to share the ball with great players.
- - - - - - -
Tom


#4:

You wrote: "Actually the purpose was to inform in case there were any imposters."

Celebrities have imposters, like Michael Jackson does or MJ “I wanna be like Mike.” However, assuming that you are not a celeb then why would any one want to be #4’s imposter? I certainly don't want to be imitating a whiner so lighten up as no one wants to be like you.......hahaha!

Peace out!

Charles,

>>>Would you do a Morrison/Vujacic swap for Caron Butler/Crittenton it
>>>works on the ESPN trade machine. Wizards are having a Fire sale and they
>>>would save almost $5 million the following year.
>>>
>>>Long time no chat and I hope you are well LTLF.

I'd do it and wet myself in the process.

Morrison has only value as an expiring contract and Vujacic has very little trade
value right now, but Caron Butler is a huge trade asset. So even though he doesn't
really fill a need for the Lakers (Artest and Walton have the SF spot pretty well
covered),
you could parlay him into something they need more (like point guard &/or a better
backup big).

LT,

>>>While I have always liked Calderon, there is ZERO way the Lakers are going
>>>to trade for him. Not only does Calderon earn $8M this year but he also has
>>>3 more years for a total of $29M. That means accepting $37M in salary (plus
>>>another $37M in luxury taxes for a point guard who does not play any better
>>>defense than Fisher or Farmar.

What if Sasha is included in the trade instead of AmMo? Toronto does have a thing
for euro players like Sasha, and their weakest position is shooting guard. While
Sasha isn't an all-star, he's much more experienced and steady than Demar DeRozan.

So Sasha + Fisher for Calderon... do you make that trade?

WITH DUE RESPECT TO THE FOLKS IN HAITI, IS THIS THE RIGHT FORUM TO BRING UP OTHER ISSUES BESIDES WHAT THIS BLOG IS CREATED FOR?

There are many ways folks can help if they really want to help!!

#4:

You wrote: " First and foremost, Kobe set the screen on a smaller man, causing the switch. Why Rodriguez thought it was smart to fall down at that point was beyond me, but regardless, you have Kobe shooting over a smaller guard."

Thanks for making it clear for me now I get it, finally!! Awesome job of summarizing the clip.

Agent zero charged with felony gun possesion say it aint so zero
http://tinyurl.com/ye5vk3c

@EDWIN GUECO, OUT FREAKING STANDING!! KUDOS EDWIN!
*
SAY A PRAYER FOR HAITI - BANDWAGON
*
(00) DR. JERRY BUSS, DONALD STERLING, TEIM LEJWIKE – HONORARY CO/OWNERS
(01) EDWIN GUECO – CEO - We are all appealing to the Lakers owner, Jerry Buss and Clippers owner, Don Sterling and Staples CEO, Tim Leiweike please team up and charter a plane. There are 100,ooo victims and possible millions of injured out there and there are no hospitals around to take care of the injured. If you supply the logistics, I'm sure there are volunteers of MD's, Surgeons, Nurses, Aides and other support group to go to Haiti. i am sure there will be donations of cots, tents and other needed to put up a makeshift hospital. Tomorrow, it is game day. If word comes out, I'm sure all attendees will bring some clothing, canned goods or some unexpired medicines on their medical cabinets that can be put into use and/or donate cash or even donate blood through Red Cross..... what is needed is your leadership in heading the fund drive.
(02) TRUTH BE TOLD - DRIVER - I second Edwin Guecos motion on the great people of Haiti
(03) LAKERTOM - RIDING SHOTGUN - How can we all not be on the Help for Haiti Bandwagon.
(04) #4 You got another aye vote. I can't imagine the pain and suffering these people are going through.
(05) MAMBA24 - I also vote aye on Edwins motion and God bless Haiti.
(06) ZAIRA AMATERASU - def sign me up for the Haiti bandwagon. Definitely.
(07) CHUCK23
(08) FEARLESS - Put me on the Haiti bandwagon forthwith. I'm even having my high school classes say a prayer that all will be OK.
(09)KB BLITZ - Add me Mamba please in the Haiti bandwagon. Haiti needs ALL the help we can give. This is where CARING happens.

(10)

HAS ANYONE HEARD FROM SWISH? I am concerned about his welfare.

#4:

You wrote: "Actually the purpose was to inform in case there were any imposters."

Celebrities have imposters, like Michael Jackson does or MJ “I wanna be like Mike.” However, assuming that you are not a celeb then why would any one want to be #4’s imposter? I certainly don't want to be imitating a whiner so lighten up as no one wants to be like you.......hahaha!

Peace out!


Posted by: lakerfan | January 14, 2010 at 01:58 PM

So is that gonna be it or what?

Geez, lighten up. All I asked was that you not talk to me, and you are so offended that you label me a whiner, LOL.

Hello Pot, were the same color!

LTLF,
- - - - - -
Like Ammo is worth $10M in expiring salary and avoided luxury taxes this year, Sasha is worth the same amount to us next year. That is how we are going to pay for Kobe’s and Pau’s well-deserved raises.
-
Bottom line, the reason you don’t make that trade is you do NOT want to add $37M in salary plus $37M in luxury taxes over the next four years by taking on Calderon. We are talking about $18M per year EXTRA salary and taxes for FOUR MORE years. On top of the $110M per year we are no paying. We already have the best team, the best record, best player, best coach, and best blog. Calderon’s contract would be a franchise killer that could very well push the Lakers income and turn it into a loss.
- - - - - -
Tom

I was watching all these games, and the Miami one was crazy! All the other shots were great form, and on plays where Kobe controlled the whole thing! In the Miami game he almost lost the ball, and didn't even look like he was gonna get a shot off, and at the last second (with Wade right in his grill) he hoisted a prayer shot and it went in! He called it lucky himself, but it was truly amazing! Did you guys see the article that called Kobe the Black Knight from Monte Python! Hahaha! That is so true! By the end of this season he isn't gonna have any limbs left, but he will check himself in to the game and do something awesome to help us win! Amazing! And props to the bench and support players for finally stepping up last night! Who would have thought with our past couple years that we would win in Dallas with limp Kobe and Pau out? No one that's who! I love this team! So fun to watch! Let's keep it up boys!

LakerTom,

>>>Bottom line, the reason you don’t make that trade is you do NOT want to add
>>>$37M in salary plus $37M in luxury taxes over the next four years by taking
>>>on Calderon.
>>>We are talking about $18M per year EXTRA salary and taxes for
>>> FOUR MORE years.

You're off on a few points here. Let's assume the (possibly unrealistic) Vujacic-Farmar for Calderon trade. That's going from a fair backup SG and a good backup PG to a top-10 in the NBA starting PG.

1. Calderon's contract is for this year and the next 3 years. Not four more years, but this year and 3 more years.

2. This season, the Lakers salary would increase by 1.3 million. So even including the luxury tax, that's 2.6 million more

3. Next season, Sasha makes 5.475 million and Farmar makes AT LEAST 2.874 million. That assumes the Lakers make Jordan a minimal qualifying offer and no other team in the league offers him more. Fat chance of that.
Calderon will make 9 million. So next year the difference between Farmar+Sasha and Calderon would be about 650K. 1.3 million including luxury tax.

So far so good. VERY low increase in salary paid out for big improvement in quality.

4. The last two years of Calderon's contract, he will make 9.8 million and 10.6 million. That's admittedly a lot of money. But before you go raving about 20 million more per season, consider that the Lakers have to pay SOMEBODY to play PG. Right?

So it's disingenuous of you to compare Calderon's 9.8 million in 2011-12 and 10.6 million in 2012-13 to ZERO. They'd have to have at least one point guard, and they'd have to pay him something.

Right now, the Lakers are paying about 7 million for Farmar+Fisher. Farmar is probably going to get something closer to MLE money than a minimum qualifying offer this summer. Fish would probably take less than the 5 million he's currently making, so let's say he'd settle for 2-3 million per. That puts the Lakers at somewhere between 7 million to 9 million per season if they want to keep Fisher and Farmar. So the additional money over what they'd pay to keep the status quo is more like 2-3 million, not 10 million.

Yes, they'd still have to pay a backup PG, but with that much improvement in the quality of your starter, you could afford to pick up a minimum salary player for the backup. And if they manage to keep Shannon Brown, he could play most of the backup PG minutes.

So on a year by year basis, that's something like 2.6 million, 1.3 million, 3 million, 3 million. That's how much more it would cost to trade Vujacic & Farmar for Calderon and letting Fish retire vs keeping Farmar & Fisher & Sasha going forward.

Mamba24,

Please put me on the "Prayer for Haiti" bandwagon.

It's just awful what has happened there.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

I'd say the Miami shot. It had the feel of a seventh game title wining shot with the man everyone would want to take it.

hey mamba24, please add me to the haiti bandwagon.
on the topic poll, what better way to make kobe on top but to beat the buzzer shoot over mvp plum rival shooting guard duwayane wade!

Appreciate I'm coming in a bit late with this but I've been wondering about this play ever since I saw it. When I first saw it I thought Kobe fouled the guy who went to ground. I see that someone here has said Kobe was setting a screen. Regardless if it was a screen or not my question is: was that contact legal? To me it looked like he was trying to set a screen but pushed through the defender rather than taking up a legal stationery screening position and the defender hitting him...


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