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Ted Green: Lakers play better team basketball without Kobe Bryant

Pau Since no one else will say it, not even the basketball higher power himself, Phil Jackson, I'll say it for them:

The Lakers apparently play better team basketball without Kobe Bryant.

I know, it seems like the ultimate second guess, hindsight being 20-20, but I'll tell you why it isn't.

Writing this after the surprising, streak-busting win in Portland, that would have been purely impulsive. Writing it after they followed it with a resounding home win over the Spurs, that would have been reactionary. But writing it after three straight wins over playoff teams, two of those wins on the road, by margins of 15, 14 and 15 points, it’s now simply a reasoned response.

In other words, a funny thing happened to Bryant while sitting with his swollen ankle propped up in Gary Vitti's various training rooms.  

The Lakers superstar discovered that his guys are a whole lot better, and more cohesive and together and on the same page, than they are when he, Kobe, is dribbling out the clock, holding the ball and trying to beat three guys off the dribble while hoisting up 20 to 35 shots a game.

And let's face it, some of those shots, the 25-foot corkscrew fade-aways with the 24 winding down, they seem to be at least partially intended either for Kobe's own amusement, the game within the game where he tries to outdo even himself, entertain the crowd and TV guys, or enhance his rep as the craziest shot-maker in captivity. Or maybe it's that whole enchilada.

I say these last three games have been so revealing, they should serve as a full-on wake-up call to the great Bryant himself.

Your teammates sent you a message, Kobe, and it couldn't be any louder or more clear. Are you listening? Are you mature enough to learn from it, or is actually being Bryant the bigger priority?

I mean, even if you've got a full-on bromance going with 24, if you're, like me, the biggest Kobe fan in the whole wide world, ask yourself honestly: When this season have the Lakers played three prettier, more dominating games against quality opponents than these last three?

Answer: They haven't.

Just think: How good could they be if Kobe fit in with THEM instead of demanding that they fit in with HIM?

No, I'm not saying they're a better team without Kobe, certainly not over the long haul and definitely not in tough playoff series against, say, Denver and then Cleveland. And, no, I'm not suggesting they trade him for Dwyane Wade, who's got the same annoying penchant for I'm-the-Showitis as Kobe does.  

I'm saying that if Kobe is the keen student of the game he claims to be, he should at least be considering that some or all of the following conclusions might be valid:

1.  It's now up to him to figure out how HE can best intersperse his offense into this perfectly symmetrical Triangle they're playing, rather than the other way around.

2. The Lakers would be at their penultimate best if Kobe averaged 18 points a game instead of having that compulsive need to average 28.  Dispensing those 10 points among his teammates would mean, by definition, a better brand of team ball.  (And if you don't believe me, check the stats during the Magic Showtime era.)

3. Although it has been incredibly entertaining for years, the Black Mamba act, seen in a different context now, seems a bit more like Kevin McHale's old Black Hole. Throw the ball to Kobe and never see it again.

4. And why, in the last four minutes of every single close Laker game, must Kobe seemingly take 80% of the shots in crunch time? Or is it 90%? Is it written sacredly on a wall or tablet somewhere in ancient Egypt? Trust somebody else now and then, Kob, you might be pleasantly surprised. 

Like you were, say, these last five days?

Kobe, did you see Lamar's comment after he scored 25 in Utah? "I'm decent." How dripping with pathos was THAT remark? Lamar in effect saying: I know the press is fixated on Kobe, but me and the other Lakers, we aren't chopped liver, either.

Indeed, this is what Laker fans should want to see from Kobe when he rejoins the lineup after the All-Star game:

Don't just throw the ball into the post to appease Pau Gasol and (less frequently) Andrew Bynum; don't just throw the two Big Dogs a bone; initiate the offense through them, the way the team is doing now.  

What I would say to Kobe if I had his ear and trust is this: Dude, we already KNOW you're great. We KNOW you can get 40 almost whenever you want. Fifty or 60 even. But even if you stay around long enough to pass Kareem and score more than anyone ever, even if they build a statue for you next to Magic’s in front of Staples, that's STILL not you're legacy, how you're going to be judged by history.

You're going to be judged by championships, four of which you have already.

Five and you tie Magic.

Six, you tie Jordan and you're right in the conversation as the greatest player ever.

Seven, you might BE the conversation.

So stop Mamba'ing so much. Let the other guys work. Let them get their touches and points too. It'll preserve your body so you don't have to spend so much time in the training room.  

You'll have to pass the torch to LeBron James and it'll hurt for a minute or three, but I'm pretty sure letting the old Kobe go and reinventing a new, more efficient model is the best and fastest way to reaching the magic title number.

So here it is, finally, in a nutshell. You can ease off on being 24 now, and focus on that other, far more important number:

Seven.

-- Ted Green

Green formerly covered the Lakers for the L.A. Times. He is currently Senior Sports Producer for KTLA Prime News.

Photo: Pau Gasol works his way past Utah's Andrei Kirilenko during the Lakers' 96-81 victory over the Jazz on Wednesday. Credit: Steve C. Wilson / Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (194)

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Mr. Green, not bad, however, I still want KB24 taking those last shots, period.

Here's the trade the Lakers should make:

http://tinyurl.com/yb8whvl

It works in the trade machine, so the other teams will surely accept the deal

Interesting line of thought, but completely wrong. Another in a long line of Kobe haters trying to get his 15 minutes.

Oh Ted, are you going to get some long angry comments. GL with that.

Congratulations to Derek Fisher on playing in his 1000th game. He stunk in 996 of them....what a huge achievement !! And any Laker fan that thinks the Lakers need to trade Bynum or Gasol. Needs to go back to Basketball 101.
Bynum still has huge potential. And the Lakers were nothing before they received the gift of Gasol.

To expand upon my previous comment...

Where is the article questioning why Kobe's teammates didn't bother to play with this much effort and heart when Kobe was on the floor? Where is the article calling out the rest of the team for being lazy and relying too much on Kobe and only stepping up to play hard when he goes down for a few games?

Trade machine, yes, I'm for that, ha, ha, ha!

Jeanette, sign back on. Don't get pushed out!

Who is Ted Green?

DJ - look at the percentages on game-winning shots. Unless a star player can get to the hole or get an open look, he's better off drawing the defense to himself and then passing. Kobe's shooting % on game-winning shots over 5 years was only 25% (14-56). Compare that to the league-wide average of 30%. There were a few other stars (Dwayne Wade, Chancey Billups) who also were below 30%. If Kobe, instead of trying to get off a crazy three, tried to get inside and force a double-team, the Lakers would have a better shot. We forget this when he hits 2-3 in a row, but we need to remember that for every one he makes he averages 3 misses.

http://www.82games.com/gamewinningshots.htm

I think if I were Kobe, I'd try to lead the league in assists (probably can't this year, but could put up some big assist numbers still). He can still bail us out if and when needed at the end of the 4th.
Mr. Bynum, I just don't know what to think. I think I would give him up for CP3 (healthy). He does have skills, but doesn't seem to care one way or the other.
Hinrich? I'm thinking that Phoenix is going no where fast. Amare is probably leaving. They are a mess. While our basic group is 30-ish (Kobe, Lamar, Pau, Ron) why don't we try for Nash (did re-sign for 3 yeas, I believe)? He would fit for the next 2 years and give us great PG play! Phoenix needs to go young, start over. Nash for Morrison, Farmar, Sahsa? Really the best trade $$ money-wise to help Phoenix dump $$ would be Morrison and Fisher. I'm wondering if they could waive Fish and we re-sign? I know Lakers wouldn't trade Derek, but are we here to make friends or win titles?

My real name is NOT Ted Green, I swear!

HEY MR. GREEN we share your sentiments but don't think you are original in your perception.

You are regurgitating what we have been hashing for a long time now.

I expect something more original from a senior journalist than cutting and pasting our material.

Excellent point Mr. Mayor!

Yeah, 19 boards against no legitimate centers....

Wonder if Pau can match this against Shaq or Dwight

Posted by: PAUSOFT | February 11, 2010 at 12:45 PM


Well, let me see if memory serves me correctly. Pau has 1 championship; Dwight has 0. Last time I checked, 1 championship > o championships.

Pau had to guard Dwight as well.

Thanks for trying to show you have a leg upon which to stand, but you don't.

Perhaps rooting for the welfare of the team would be wiser next time?

Well said, Ted!

PICK AND POST…
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RDLEE… “The way Jordan Farmar is playing, I'd hate to see him go in a trade for Hinrich.” The way Jordan is playing, I wouldn’t bet on him NOT being the Lakers next starting point guard. Last night, Jordan continued his positive blow-by differential, blowing by Darren Williams twice while not allowing him to blow by at all. The only problem is that Jordan is playing so good that he might get some attractive offers in free agency. Even then, he would be a much more affordable option to succeed Fish than a old slow boat like Hinrich or a 21% 3-point shooter like Devin Harris.
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EX… “Even though Kobe is the best player on the Lakers, the way defenses are oriented (towards him), and considering the quality of his teammates, he is rarely the best option (read "greatest mismatch") on offense.” Well said, ex. In the end, basketball is still a game of mismatches and the way defenses are stacked against Kobe, the Lakers should take advantage where they have the edge. which with this team in many cases is with Pau or Drew or Lamar or Ron in the post.
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EDWIN… “As Pablo Picasso said: "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth", well in the last three games, we found the hidden art of the Lakers.” Great quote, my old friend. I had never heard that one before. Why does it always seem as if the Lakers are like Dorothy and her posse where everybody seems to be missing something. Pau needs to find toughness, Kobe teamwork, Andrew a heart, Lamar consistency, etc. Like the paradise reclaimed theme. How about paradise repeat and 3peat.
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MARK MEDINA… “But the bottom line is this -- teamwork isn't an exclusionary concept; it's inclusionary by nature.” Another gem hidden in the waves of words and posts, Mark. Much like your comment how team balance protects the team from any one player’s poor performance, this was another beautiful sentence that shows you know your stuff. The only thing missing in my mind is a little more interaction with the bloggers within the blog, commenting and responding when they ask you a question or request your opinion. But bottom line, the Lakers Blog is now yours.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
CHICNSTU… “Winning these 3 games without Kobe and Bynum doesn't prove we are better without them. It only proves that the offense is more effective when it executed as designed by Tex Winter.” Damn, that was good. It was great to see Tex at the game the other night. He must be smiling a little more after watching the last 3 games. I agree about the ASG. Who wants to watch that when we can watch a real team perform in a real game? Take a seat, Kobe. You’ve earned the rest and relaxation.
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ZAIRA… “In Italy they use to call Lamar ‘Magic with one hand, the lefty that can change any game if he only wishes to.’” Funny how great minds think alike. I have made references to Magic several times after the last 3 games as Lamar has been playing the best basketball of his entire career. He has made two of the best drives to the basket I have ever seen him make – the first being the spin out of the double team to a quick vicious dunk – the second being a drive down the lane with another quick dunk. Those quick dunks are what Pau and Lamar can do to surprise the physical defenders.
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CORNERJ… “But more than anything, I want the Lakers to play like this. THIS is "Laker basketball." You can certainly say that again. I loved the last 3 games even though my favorite (Kobe) and second favorite (Drew) players were sitting. That didn’t stop me from loving the great games that Lamar, Pau, and Jordan had. Glad to see another die-hard fan remark on how Farmar is now the point guard that is blowing by the other point guards. He has the best blow-by differential on our team. I would still like to see him get a chance to show his stuff with the starters. He is Derek’s successor.
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TROLL MAN… “Phil needs to tell Jimmy Buss that the "Andrew Bynum Project" will be shelved for the time being.” Another perfect example of why your blog name is accurate. Remember the Boston game? Remember the Cavs game? For your information, the game is about matchups and the elite teams that we need to defeat in the playoffs to win the championship are the teams against which we need Drew’s power offense and shot blocking defense. But no matter, you are living up to your name well, posting ridiculous comments and bending every which way the wind blows. Sort of like…a troll.
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JOHNNYV… “Kobe returns to the team for practice after the allstar break. The whole team is in there dressing and no one says a word.... all of them waiting for some kind of response from Kobe after they dusted off 3 good teams. Kobe dresses for practice and notices the guys are giving him the silent treatment. He turns around and faces them, smiles and says "Alright, that was impressive." They jump on him dogpile style and give him nuggies and indian burns. Alot of laughing and smiling from everyone ensues” Damn, Johnny. I couldn’t decide which paragraph to cut and paste they were all so good. The above cut right to the heart of this team’s personality, though, which was why I chose it. Bravo and kudos, Johnny. Your Laker vision is better than 20:20. It’s definitely High Def.
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XYZ… “no question that our BIGs played a great game....but the player that's impressed me most in this 3-game run is jordan farmar....playing under control and hustling on the defensive end.....he clearly has the tools to be a triangle point guard....now he just has to show the consistency needed to run a championship team....” What is really interesting is to compare how Jordan is playing and how he interacts with the team versus how Shannon is playing. Last night was the perfect example. There once was a time when Shannon attacked the rim and Jordan just shot jumpers. Now it’s Farmar who is blowing by defenders and taking the ball to the rim or for an assist while Shannon plays bad Kobe and dribbles the ball of his foot out of bounds. Here’s hoping he will play better after the ASG.
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HOBBITMAGE… Thanks for the link. I have said all season that I trust Phil to do what is right for the team. While I believe it would be a mistake to bench Drew, Lamar has been playing the best basketball in his career right now. Bottom line, I am a Lakers fan and root for every player on the team when they are in the game, unlike some of the Bynum Bashers whose day is not complete without dumping on Drew and were probably happier that Drew was not part of the last 3 wins than the fact that we won. I believe the right move is to continue to start Drew but to allocate playing time between Drew, Pau, and Lamar based on the matchups and who is playing best. I thought Kevin Ding summarized the situation perfectly in his closing comment: “It’s in the Lakers’ best interests for Odom’s individual glory not to have to come back further in the form of Bynum’s starting job.”
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Tom

The Lakers are playing well and I am enjoying it. But I hope Kobe is back before they hit one of those games where they are not hitting shots and need someone to bail them out. Kobe does this over and over. They are playing with no net below them right now. I hope they don't slip.

LAKERGATE CONSPIRACY:

Can someone look into Ted Green's Swiss Bank account for any recent deposits for large sum from Celtics, Denver or Cleveland organizations?

Ted just may have fueled Kobe's departure come this June...

Caliphilosopher:

Look at the picture and see who is guarding Pau.......

Opponents' defense are primarily geared to stop Kobe and the fact that he's only been out for 3 games, Coaches are a bit lost on how to attack the Lakers' offensive flow and defense. It caught them by surprise. So these 3 teams have not been fully adjusted to this new Laker team. I am not saying this to discredit the hard work and effort our guys put in to get the W the past 3 games. But it's to enlighten some of the false judgments Kobe has been receiving.

There are a lot of aspects to be looked at before we jump into ship Kobe's behind bandwagon, or Kobe is a ball hog, or Kobe is a Laker villain. Most are basing their point of views from 4 games: the loss from Memphis and the 3 wins w/o Kobe. I mean what about the other loses? Who did you blame? What about the other wins? Who was glorified?

Basketball is a team game. Strength through unity! Unity through faith! This Lakers team is not perfect, EVERYONE has some adjusting to do to reach the glorified 2010 Champ Banner.

@Mayor of Kobe Town: You have valid comments but they don't discount the fact that for a player who has such a high basketball IQ Kobe seems to do a lot of questionable/borderline studpid things (i.e. trying to play 1 on 5, not moving the ball when he doesn't have a high percentage shot, gambling a lot on defense, etc.)

The irony is, if Kobe didn't do this, he'd actually have a much easier time scoring as defenses would have to be way more honest about sending extra defenders at him. Kobe at times is still playing like he's surrounded by bums. This isn't the 2004-2006 Lakers. Calling his teammates lazy is one thing, but not acknowledging that Kobe's behavior on the court (not passing, yelling at his teammates for not passing to him) contributes to some of the ball watching is just plain ignorant.

It's no surprise to me. Both Bryan and Bynum are slow to move the ball. Farmar and Brown are do not move the ball well when they are in the second unit. I've seen way to many pull up jumpers from those clowns. Sasha has been moving the ball better than any bench player (sans Odom, who isn't really a bench player).

LA Guy,

I understand the point, but if I were to take those stats literally, then I want Ronald Murray taking those shots, not MJ or LBJ, or KB. I think Eddie Curry is next on the list. It's all in the context. Time frame is also a huge factor as well, perhaps only 4 seconds left and no time for a pass and shoot. Just thoughts.

Are you really bringing up the Showtime Lakers to show why Kobe shouldn't score? They ran an offense totally opposite from what the current Lakers run.

Him scoring 18 points is not the way to success. There's no guarantee that the other players are going to score the other 10 points.

This article is another short-sighted reaction piece.

GRAND PA LAKERTOM:

YOU WROTE: TROLL MAN… “Phil needs to tell Jimmy Buss that the "Andrew Bynum Project" will be shelved for the time being.” Another perfect example of why your blog name is accurate. Remember the Boston game? Remember the Cavs game? For your information, the game is about matchups and the elite teams that we need to defeat in the playoffs to win the championship are the teams against which we need Drew’s power offense and shot blocking defense. But no matter, you are living up to your name well, posting ridiculous comments and bending every which way the wind blows. Sort of like…a troll.

RESPONSE:

STOP ALREADY you funny grandpa: You say Bynum will come through against Celts or the Cavs, sounds good in fantasy world. I suggest that every time you defend Drew that you take a brisk walk to get some blood in your brains. This will alleviate the pressure in your brain caused by too many Drew blood cells and help you think clearly. Bynum is not a faucet that you turn on and off at will nor is he a beast. This is why regular season is critical for players to sharpen their skills, otherwise, might as well skip the regular season. I say big bust Drew has degenerated more than regenerated so far. ha

By the way noticed your long silence and figured you will grace us by coming down from your high perch as soon as someone mentioned Drew's name in vain.

Peace!


I think people will miss the "team" at the header of the title. Yes, no doubt the Lakers are playing better TEAM basketball without Kobe -- they have to. Even Kobe apologists will accept the fact that yes, the Lakers last 3 wins have been impressive.

Frank - what the heck are you talking about? No net below them? They've safely won every game by taking a lot of high-percentage shots. Playing with "no net below" you is rushing shots when there aren't rebounders in positions and dribbling out the clock before taking a fadeaway jumper. The way the Lakers are playing right now, they are giving themselves lots of chances at high percentage shots. That's a pretty good net.

Why are so many people so determined to degrade the effort of anyone not named Kobe?

Well said, well said, well said. Amen. Amen.Amen.

Kobe needs to read it 10 times in a row.

Everybody loves the back-up quartback. But, let's keep this in perspective. Back-up quarterbacks, NOT named TOM BRADY, DON'T WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS.

So with that said, until we have a BIG DOG in the bull pin (and from what we've seen thus far, RON-RON isn't that [yet- maybe he's "still adjusting" and/or not physically cabable]); let's remember who "EATS FIRST, SECond, third......".

As a few astute commenters have intimated- play HARD and HUNGRY when the Mamba's in the PIT; and they'll ALL get FED.

Nothing like throwing gasoline on the fire!

I agree with most of the points made in the article. Kobe DOES need to see if he can rise to the challenge of being more of a facilitator.

At the same time, it's also dependent on the other players to be more aggressive and force his hand a bit. How many times have we SEEN Kobe make a great pass to someone else only for the shot to hit nothing? How often do we see Lamar and others floating around just not into the game or into defense?

The problem is on the defensive end, less on the offensive.

Look, Kobe can score AND win titles. Jordan proved that. I'll put this just as much on the team as on Kobe. They ALL need to learn from the last three games!

For DJ:

Have you failed to notice all the recent games in which Kob shot 20-30 % during the fourth quarter, taking almost all the shots for his "team"?

Sure he had those 3 buzzer beaters (in games which might not have been so close if the team was more involved in running the offense during the fourth quarters). But the overall recent track record has been dismal.

It's like Kobe finally got it last year, then forgot it again this year.

Mr Green is spot on with this one all the way.

Ok, I'm tired of hearing this argument about how good the Lakers are withouth Kobe. What folks fail to mention is the number of times the "bench mob" when given minutes, come into the game and blow the Lakers' lead. This has happened countles times, frankly this wouldn't inspire me to trust them. The difference now is that the "bench mob" is solely responsible for scoring etc. they don't have Kobe to come in and clean up their mess. I mean let's get real, I haven't seen Sasha, prior to these last 3 games, come in and play like a professional and I think that's the KEY here these men are professionls getting paid good money to practice, train and be ready to play when called on. How many of us wait idly at our post in our respective jobs waiting for our lead/supervisor to be out in order for us to step up?! Give me a break.

Dude seriously? What you think this is an espn blog? Save this crap for the birds cuz this here is mamba county. Kapish.

Finals mvp, go by that, give him the benefit of the doubt based on that. Take a step back and think to yourself, 2 consecutive appearances leading his team into the nba finals. And then ask yourself how many 3 game winning streaks, no matter how beautiful they are outweigh that. You say he should be mentioned by the number of rings he's won? Fine 4 and counting, so umm dude why you in a rush to have him pass the flame to lebron who? lmao, mamba county yo? What where you inhaling before hitting the send button?

Now now, don't accuse me of being rude yo. Seriously this dude was so eager to slam kobe he couldn't even wait 5 games, lol, i mean what's the magic number of regular season games you have to win in a row in order to wipe out a career built on diligence and excellence. I mean being the kobe fan you claim to be 3 just seems kinda low, lol, really dude?

Lastly here are some suggestion for other themes you could have ran with that'd better explain the 3 game streak and in particular not ruffle laker fans:

a. as some have mentioned, why not look at the other players and challenge them to be this aggressive when kobe's back and not revert to asking him for bailout shots. If memory serves me right this was the mindset of last year's squad

b. health, health, and health. Is a hurt kobe hurting the lakers?

c. Odom over Ariza. We chose talent over hustle for this very reason, we've seen him get hot in the past and

b. health, health and more health. how about asking if playing with a hurt kobe is hurting the rest of the teams game?

c. Odom over Ariza. We chose talent over hustle for this very reason. Cuz when #7 is on a roll, he's a game changer. Whether he plays better as a starter or off the bench is also a no brainer, dude has issues with focus, he does better starting.

d. perimeter players in the post. I slammed kobe for this from day 1 even when most of the blog was jubilating about yet amother weapon to his offensive arsenal. First off it became the only weapon early on and more importantly it robs Gasol of post time, dude's a flat out stud in the post offensively.

e. Coaching? Am I the only one thinking a dude as old as PJ is just as likely to be thinking about how much his hip hurts in his funky chair as he is to be thinking about making in game adjustments

There u go ... five other themes you could have went with ... step your game up

LadyJem,
"Opponents' defense are primarily geared to stop Kobe "

You're exactly right - which is why Kobe should be staying within the offense, rather than forcing the issue.

Kobe not playing ASG and is replaced by Jason Kidd. Will he still assists Shannon in the Dunk Contest though?

And Darius from Forum Blue and Gold has an excellent written piece, it might just calm everyone's nerves lol ... http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/02/11/appreciating-what-you-have/#comments


Absofreakinglutely spot on, Mr Green.

LakerTom,

You wrote: Thanks for the link.

my response: You're welcome.

You also wrote: I believe the right move is to continue to start Drew but to allocate playing time between Drew, Pau, and Lamar based on the matchups and who is playing best. I thought Kevin Ding summarized the situation perfectly in his closing comment: “It’s in the Lakers’ best interests for Odom’s individual glory not to have to come back further in the form of Bynum’s starting job.”

My response: If there is going to be a "blog-think-sync" about Kobe needing
to play more team ball and average assists like a pg instead of the sg he
actually is....

If we are going to denigrate Kobe for trying to win games when:

A. D-Fish is shooting 1-8
B. Pau is out of shape.
C. LO is raiding the candy store instead of cutting to the basket.
D. Artest is running like his feet are in concrete because of "plantar fasciatius"
E. The only Lakers hustling are the ones who are fighting not to get
traded

Then shouldn't Bynum come of the bench for the sake of "team basketball" ?

A. The issue of mobility. LO & Pau run a lot more.
B. LO & Pau are better passers.
C. Doesn't losing his defense because he's not an offense star bother you?

You also wrote: I believe the right move is to continue to start Drew but to allocate playing time between Drew, Pau, and Lamar based on the matchups and who is playing best.

My response: I agree that the right thing to do is play who's playing best.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a discrepancy as to how to define "who's
playing best". There is a large contingent of bloggers/jounalists/fans who
seem to think that Kobe is the reason:

D-Fish's numbers suck.
Pau's numbers have stunk.
Bynum's numbers have stunk.
LO's numbers have stunk.
J-Farmer's numbers have stunk.
Sasha's numbers have stunk.
Iran has nuclear weapons.
We have a black president.
The republicans lost the white house.
The republicans won Mass.
We have a huge deficit.
Mars has no atmosphere.
The Greenland ice sheet is melting at a catastrophic rate.
Brazil is hosting the summer Olympics.

My take is quite simple. It's this: Any player who doesn't *HUSTLE* for any
reason other than injury should be benched/traded. Period.

That starts with the #2 Pau and ends with the water boy. I'd include Kobe,
but he's not McGrady and I can't remember a time when I haven't seen him
hustle.

What an absolutely pathetic blog post. Kobe is the most unappreciated athlete in all of sports, and for the home paper to write such drivel about the reigning Finals MVP is quite honestly a joke.

So the Lakers won 3 games (1 of which against Portland that was playing without Brandon Roy or Greg Oden, an old Spurs team that hasn't been playing well in weeks, and against Utah (their best win) that has no center to guard against Pau).

Did you see Pau on this last east coast trip? He was man handles by Shaq, and Anderson Varajo. He bricked FT's that could have won the game against both the Cavs and the Raptors and was pushed around when it came to facing tougher east coast defenders. He wilted into a finesse softy. He comes back west, faces no centers and his numbers improved.

This type of garbage "what have you done for me lately" analysis is not even worthy of the LA Times.

Also remember, Kobe has not resigned and can test the free agency this summer. Are you trying to drive him away? What would you write about then? Lamar's candy? Maybe about MannyWoods post-roid decline?

This Kobe led team was in first place when he sat down, even after playing his all through injuries, and carried the team on his back when Pau missed 17 games to start.

Some LA Fans don't deserve this once in a generation player, and bloggers like Green are not the voice of reason, but rather the voice of someone looking for web hits with hate.

Pathetic.

Another thing, Ted Green wrote: "When this season have the Lakers played three prettier, more dominating games against quality opponents than these last three?"

Excuse me? Did you just start watching the season this week?

How about Nov. 1st through the 12th. they won 6 games in a row, WITHOUT PAU GASOL, and Kobe scoring very efficiently in the post on over 50% shooting. (Once Pau and Bynum came back, there was no more room for him to play in the post, and so he moved back to the perimeter where he ultimately got re-injured)

OR, how about November 17th to December 11th, where they went UNDEFEATED for 3 weeks WITHOUT PAU, and Kobe was the NBA Player of the Month.

BUT, BUT, BUT these 3 games some how enlightened us that they player better without Kobe... You sir a confused at to what dominating basketball is.

Again, this is pure "what have you done for me lately" and uses an injured Kobe as the basis for his play. You are disingenuous and wrong Mr. Green.

Exholdvr,

you wrote this: which is why Kobe should be staying within the offense, rather than forcing the issue.

my response: if the triangle offense is an offense that's based upon cutting
and nobody's cutting is it Kobe's fault or is it their fault.

I asked MM about this and he responded that Pau acknowledged some of the
blame and from that perspective picked it up. Farmar acknowledged "picking
it up". LO acknowledged "picking it up". PJ has spoken about people
standing around and watching Kobe instead of running the offense.

Shouldn't we be honest and say the following:

1. Pau was out.
2. Bynum doesn't pass like Pau.
3. Kobe was over dribbling.
4. LO was shooting long range 3's instead of cutting to the basket.
5. D-Fish couldn't have bought a bucket at 7-11.
6. Artest's injury slowed him down.
7. Artest's knowledge of the offense slowed him down.
8. All the starters except for Kobe & Bynum were doggin' it.

vs. Kobe wasn't running the offense.

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Kobe got that way because his teammates were lazy and loaved and became spoiled depending on him to win games for them, or his teammates got that way because Kobe was a selfish ball hog?

Yet another one of life's mystical conundrum!

Oh well, at least we now know Kobe's teammates are capable of playing good basketball. They are capable of hustling and playing terrific defense... when properly motivated.

Forget about the offense which may or may not stay the same with Kobe in the mix. The million dollar question is thus:

WHY CAN'T THE LAKERS PLAY HUSTLING LOCK-DOWN DEFENSE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME, WITH OR WITHOUT KOBE?

Oh yeah, one more important thing that I have learned over the years from reading the internet: As soon as someone says. " don't get me wrong I am the biggest Kobe fan in the world" I immediately know they're not.

Hatchet.


Caliphilosopher:

Some more view points on Pau to drill it in your thick skull: haha

Per Stanley Woods:

Did you see Pau on this last east coast trip? He was man handles by Shaq, and Anderson Varajo. He bricked FT's that could have won the game against both the Cavs and the Raptors and was pushed around when it came to facing tougher east coast defenders. He wilted into a finesse softy. He comes back west, faces no centers and his numbers improved.

"Dude seriously? What you think this is an espn blog? Save this crap for the birds cuz this here is mamba county. Kapish."

Is "Kapish" Yiddish for "Capiche"?

People who can barely write in English should focus on mastering English before resorting to misspelling words in other languages.

Capiche?

C-ROD,

Great point. It seemed like a broken record of the Bench Mob blowing leads constantly.

As far as Kobe in the 4th, yeah, he probably does overdo, but perhaps we'll see when the team is full strength.

I don't know if anyone pointed it out either during the game or in todays blogs, but...

Did Andrei Kirilenko take a side job at Jack in the Box?

He sure seems to have bought into Bowl-cut week.

Italian Dictionary:

r u from jersey shore?

"He was man handles by Shaq"

I know Shaq is a little chunky and has what people might playfully call "man handles", but to think that Shaq is so vain that he named one of his man handles "Gasol" is just plain wrong.

Let's also put the last three games in a different light. Portland, with obviously less talent than LA needed Roy, more than we needed Kobe. You know since we are talking about LA being SO good without Kobe, that certainly says Portland was an easy mark that night. San Antonio is 10-11 on the road, and are 29-21 overall, old and look it. Utah was on the second night of back-to-backs. Now, I'm just saying.
Happy we won and hopefully PJ will mesh the guys properly when Kobe and drew return to keep the offense better in tune. We all should really rally behind the whole team and hope that PJ demands the same effort with all on board. I've yet to see a player check himself into a game (a few that wouldn't check in, ha, ha). So this presents a leadership opportunity for PJ. REPEAT BABY!

dont tell kobe what he should do TED GREEN and i dont know you either, do kobe know you? so if we breakdown all the 51 games played this season with kobe one by one, we should held liable all the lakers player who are lazy, cant make shots, cant make free throws at crunch time, cant rebound, push around by bigs of other teams, cant make layups, too many to mention, kobe is not perfect but i saw all the lakers game this season, he would average 8 assist a game if his teammates make those easy shots he dishes, now the lakers is successful without him on three games and THE TRADE KOBE is the discussion now, he should fit himself like he was from D LEAGUE to the lakers, wow kobe is the smartest of all the lakers, i hate to say this but pau is pushing kobe under the lakers org, DID PAU hear anything pau from kobe if he made mistakes, NO only "you are the most skilled player in the nba", kobe have graduate from all of this kind of issue, this should be an issue at all, how about we right FISHER CANT GUARD other guards, LAMARS inconsistency, PAU high TO AND FLOPPING IN CLEV, i get youre point of team basketball but to said beyond kobes ability as a basketball players questioning his will for his teammates, CAN THE LAKERS WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT KOBE???????????????? if they make that thread here for the next few days, im eager to read all the reactions, ALL OF YOU ARE JUST OVERWHELMED BY THE SITUATION NOW,


KOBE FAN HERE IN MANILA

dont tell kobe what he should do TED GREEN and i dont know you either, do kobe know you? so if we breakdown all the 51 games played this season with kobe one by one, we should held liable all the lakers player who are lazy, cant make shots, cant make free throws at crunch time, cant rebound, push around by bigs of other teams, cant make layups, too many to mention, kobe is not perfect but i saw all the lakers game this season, he would average 8 assist a game if his teammates make those easy shots he dishes, now the lakers is successful without him on three games and THE TRADE KOBE is the discussion now, he should fit himself like he was from D LEAGUE to the lakers, wow kobe is the smartest of all the lakers, i hate to say this but pau is pushing kobe under the lakers org, DID PAU hear anything pau from kobe if he made mistakes, NO only "you are the most skilled player in the nba", kobe have graduate from all of this kind of issue, this should be an issue at all, how about we right FISHER CANT GUARD other guards, LAMARS inconsistency, PAU high TO AND FLOPPING IN CLEV, i get youre point of team basketball but to said beyond kobes ability as a basketball players questioning his will for his teammates, CAN THE LAKERS WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT KOBE???????????????? if they make that thread here for the next few days, im eager to read all the reactions, ALL OF YOU ARE JUST OVERWHELMED BY THE SITUATION NOW,


KOBE FAN HERE IN MANILA

Well stated Mr. Woods and PSYCORP.

Hey Teddy,

Instead of worrying if Kobe learned anything about his team, maybe you should ask one simple question; why did his team choose these 3 games to play with passion, hustle and aggresiveness. Why did it take an injury to Kobe for them to wake up and realize they need to play hard every game, with or without Kobe. You can't have it two ways, you can't complain about Kobe taking the majority of the shots, yet sit there and watch him bail you out time and time again. One other little thing, I see how you left the fact that Bynum has been missing for these 3 games as well, yet you didn't seem to mention the fact that the Lakers are a better team with him. Nice job Teddy!!

Ted Green that was music to my ears.


Just think if Kobe actually played team ball.


It would be Showtime again and now I am starting to think the fans are being ripped off from watching a great team everynight due to somebody always concerned about his stats. These last 3 games we all heard the comments from the players basically calling Kobe out for not playing team ball. I will never forgets Pau's comment about Kobe breaking the scoring record and he's glad to get that over with so they can start to play team ball again. Ireland asked Pau after the game if the the Utah game was the best game of the year and what did Pau say.....well really it has been the last 3 games have been the best, were playing team ball, everyone is involved...on and on...this is getting comical now...I am embarrassed if I am Kobe seeing the team play like that. I have never seen so many smiles on the team before. Now Phil says the team has an identity...HAHA!!! without Kobe??


Kobe come back and play with a little Magic in you and pass the ball to your teammates.


BD

So, where are all these new named LakersBlog "fans" suddenly sprouting out from??

Looks like they're all ardent BSPN/media followers, who can't stand the thought and sight of Kobe's greatness.

Once Kobe is down and Lakers play, all those trolls come here and start croaking and throwing trash on Kobe and spewing their hatred on him.

So guys where were you all when we were winning, thanks to Kobe?? Where were you, when the "rest of the team" was stinking wen Kobe was on the bench taking a 2-min break.

Why did PJ had to re-insert Kobe innumerable times late in the 4th qtr, to save the game?? Why could not this "team" play "team ball" and not let the double digit lead dwindle to a one-possession game??? That is Kobe's fault too?? Is he ball-hogging even when he's not on the field??

Pau Gasol missed two criticial FTs at the end of the Cavs game which would have tied it. Was Kobe the reason for that also??

In the Cavs game (at Cleveland), your "ball hog" Kobe took 31 shots and made 12. How about Mr. Pau: He took 14 and made 5. Translate that to 31, and 5/14 only translates to 11/31. So, hasn't "ball hog" Kobe fared better than Pau in the Cavs game, when you check FG%??

Same in Denver game, Kobe took 22 and made 11. Pau took 17 and made 8. Looks like Kobe had shot better than Pau in the two contests which we lost and all the BSPN fans on here are blaming Kobe for that??

Of the three teams which Pau has "dominated", which of those had a physical center who plays inside: Portland: none (in fact they did not even have a C). San Antonio (Duncan, in his downdays), Utah (None, Okur plays far away from the basket). In the absence of Kobe, if Pau goes and puts a 20/10 against teams with defensive physical centers (Howard, Perkins, Nene - to an extent), then we can talk.

Also, teams' defensive schemes when playing against us have been directed against Kobe as the primary target. The opponents have not yet devised a defense scheme against a Lakers line-up w/o Kobe. They dont know yet should they double team LO or Pau, whom should they deploy zone D against etc. Kobe has played 230+ consecutive games - which means for almost 3 yrs, the opponents have been playing a Kobe-centric Defense scheme. They will make adjustments if Kobe is not there, or he sits longer, and then you can see the true "skill" of LO or anyone else.

So, stop the crap that we're good without Kobe and all such stuff. Enjoy the wins when they come w/o Kobe, coz the opponents are not going to remain the same forever!!

Ever wonder how teams go lightly when their star player isn't on the court? Well that could be why it happened.

hobbit,
"if the triangle offense is an offense that's based upon cutting
and nobody's cutting is it Kobe's fault or is it their fault."

It's both - how much gets assigned to each depends on whether people stop cutting and moving because Kobe is over-dribbling, or vice versa. Personally, I think that it's about 1/2-to-2/3 Kobe' fault, and 1/3-to-1/2 everybody else's. The actual amounts don't really matter - what matters is that Kobe is the key to making it work like it is supposed to work.

Come back and tell me about it after Gasol averages 21 points, 19 rebounds and 5 blocks for a whole season. Reading anything into a 3 game span is ridiculous. Kobe is as good as ever....the problem is the other guys only decide to step it up because THEY HAVE TO. The most classic underachiever in all of sports has to be my favorite player, Lamar Odom. Luckily he took it upon himself to pick up the slack and FINALLY play like he is capable of doing every night but only does occasionally. And when Farmar averages 18 points for the season maybe he will get an extension.

LOL! God forbid somebody says Kobe should consider passing the ball a little more instead of jacking up 30+ shots/game. Hey, Kwame Brown at Center? Dude, jack up 30+ shots/game. Nowadays with Pau and Bynum available? No plausible reason to jack up 30+ shots/game. Clearly the "teammates are standing around" logic has been destroyed. Teammates are ready, willing and able to take shots and will make the effort to be in position to take those shots IF they believe their efforts will be rewarded with the ball actually touching their hands, end of story.

Ted Green of the Boston Globe says......

thank you ted!

the zen master deserves a medal, i don't know how he does it. look at his comments from day one right up to this year - #1 frustration? lack of ball movement / team play - read kobe playing 1 on 5.

for all kobe's skills he is dumb as a post here. oh yeah, he'll tease you with spurts of team play, but he never truly gets it.

you can tell kobe fans, they never played the game. anyone that's played understands the TEAM concept.

I'd hate having to play with kobe. give me magic and show time any day.

now, playing with magic? YES YES YES

Wow, Ted, so now you know that Kobe needs your validated opinion to' know what he should do once he's back?

Excuse me Sir, how do you know this more facilitator role is not already what Kobe plans to' do in the first place?

Do you read his mind, or Are you just geniously assuming by reading coffees remains out from a cofee cup?

It's amazing to' read all this analysis, based on nothing. Wow. I thought many guys here have listed all this already, and probably even better than you did.

All trying to' assume Kobe's feelings and projects. Without knowing what he's keen at.

Kobe dies to' win RINGS man. He doesn't need to' hear from you about that. He is always focused on that always.

And about Lamar, and Pau and their skill, I remember like a month ago whom else??? Ah, yeah... KOBE pushing them and praising them saying they Are so talented they can do all.

Hardly the praise of somebody blind or dismissive of them both, I think.

But all this is wasted breath.
Keep the anti Kobe routine.
Must be' the new Black on catwalks, right?
This article is ridicolous and makes me feel in one of BSPN garbage cans online.

As Ted noted, and ironically the posters who act as if they are the biggest Kobe fans seem to ignore, is that if the rest of the Lakers can continue to play like this, and Kobe is able to smoothly integrate his game in, it will actually enhance his legacy. The fact is that Kobe still struggles with that. He is better in that sense than he used to be, but he is not all the way there yet, and that does limit how successful the Lakers can be. It doesn't mean they won't win titles (last year showed that) but it was certainly a factor in the years they didn't win, and it does keep this roster from getting into that "Greatest Team of all Time" discussion.

Why do some keep harping about Kobe shooting 30+ shots a game? I believe an earlier article stated that he shoots an average of 20, almost identical to Jerry West.


We win three games without Kobe and instead of celebrating the run (perfectly on time before the All Star break and after a slump of some games played not so well) we get people taking extra conclusions who blame at Kobe for not being team oriented versus those blaming at the rest of the team for not helping Kobe the same way when he is on the floor...

Its funny why we always tend to look for the most complicated option and always try to discover something new. OK, if nobody else notice this or that before you it might be because...there is NOTHING to see!

I can tell why LA times writers and others are adding fuel to the fire as it might be a good way to draw attention during the All Star break.

@ Rick F., is that GASOLine?

Whoever stole the Birdman's hair product, obviously also got AK 47s.

"The Lakers apparently play better team basketball without Kobe Bryant."

It certainly might seem that way to the untrained eye, but for those of us who've watched Kobe work his magic over the years this is more crazy talk. Kobe just needs to adjust his game a bit when he returns and get everyone else more involved in the flow, both offensively and defensively. Shooting fewer 3s and integrating himself more seamlessly into the team's defensive schemes would be a good start.

"Writing this after the surprising, streak-busting win in Portland, that would have been purely impulsive. Writing it after they followed it with a resounding home win over the Spurs, that would have been reactionary. But writing it after three straight wins over playoff teams, two of those wins on the road, by margins of 15, 14 and 15 points, it’s now simply a reasoned response."

I'm calling BS on this supposedly "reasoned" response. Let me tell you why; in statistics, and by that I mean mathematical statistics, the minimum sample size for a significance test is 30, by convention. That's right 30, at minimum. You've got 3 samples you're working with and on that basis you call your leap of extrapolation "reasoned"...BS!

So, please tell us all what the basis is for your claim that this is a "reasoned response" without resorting to the fallacy that 3 samples allows you to claim your analysis results in a conclusion of any significance. I believe that "reactionary" or "purely impulsive" is a much better description of your analysis, and are apropo in characterizing the resulting fit of your conclusion to the available data.

Bravo... I'd like to see the best one on one player on the planet (Kobe) become more of a team player.

I agree with every single word in Mr Green's
article.

Kobe's greatness is the work of a mindless media most of whom just goes with the flow . He is good but he is not great. Certainly not in the mold of a Magic, LeBron or Wade

He is too selfish, hogs the ball, yells at team mates, tries to shoot through 3 or 4 defenders, thinks that he and only he can win for the team and (as Denver shows)lies publicly and has character issues, bad mouths team mates (Bynum), tries to play through injuries even at the risk of hurting the team because he likes the good press and publicity......among other things

As a Laker fan (not a Kobe fan) I enjoyed these last 3 games immensely. I hope he stays hurt.

And hey Lakers might win the championship without him.

Why not?? Did we think they could have thrashed the last 3 teams??

Hey it's not impossible!!

Whoever stole the Birdman's hair product, obviously also got AK 47s.

Posted by: Mark G | February 11, 2010 at 03:16 PM

--
AK47 looked more menacing when he had the Ivan 'I Must Break You' Drago hairstyle.

Wow! The emperor really does not have any clothes!

It is no secret that Kobe is a egotistical, attention-craving, ball hog. On a team that has so many options on offense, there is no need for *anyone* to take 30 shots a game, making only 10-12 of them.

If he were making 50+% of his shots consistently, then perhaps he would be justified.

As many games as Kobe has won with his last second shots, he has lost considerably more by dribbling out the clock and forcing the shot instead of running the offense.

Of course, he counts on people remembering the miracle shots!

This article highlighted the obvious very nicely

I agree 100%. Kobe needs to play team ball, and save his heroics for when the team TRULY needs it.

Ted, you are right on point. Kobe says all the right things to the media, but his play often shows his inherent "its gotta be me" streak. With him out, the rest of the team is playing to it's potential and capabilities because they don't have to relinquish to Kobe's demands. I would also say that with Kobe on the floor, the selfish play infects other players because they know they won't get as many touches. Now, they have 20-30 more touches distributed throughout the team. Also, the defense has improved because Bynum, for all of his injuries, was oftentimes was simply lazy. The way the Lakers are playing without Kobe and Bynum shows you where the REAL heart of the team lies.

BD: You couldn't be any more right.

Imagine being on a team. Could be a pro team. Could be rec league or junior high. Suppose there's one guy, the most talented on your team (though not miles better than the rest of you), but he won't play a team game. Jacks up shots he shouldn't. Doesn't pass the way he should. And when he talks, he shows you and your other teammates major disrespect.

How would you react? Playing on that team would be no fun at all. You'd resent the jerk. After a while, you wouldn't play your hardest. It's just human nature.

"Oh, but they're being paid so much money! They should be playing their hardest all the time, regardless of what Kobe says."

Oh really? How many of you have a boss who's a total jerk? Do you give your best all the time? Sorry, you don't. Just human nature.

Respect and disrespect go a long, long way, in every business, in every walk of life. Obviously, the rest of the Lakers feel disrespected by Kobe, and given the things that have come out of his mouth, who is to blame them?

Despite what he may think, the rest of the Lakers do not play for the greatness of Kobe Bryant. Hopefully, he will change his mind and join the others in playing for the greatness of the Lakers, and for the respect and love of the city of Los Angeles and Laker fans everywhere.

Kobe does ball hog but its because for most of this season he's been the only Laker on constant attack mode. Whats he supposed to do when vs Cleveland the ball goes into Gasol at critical points and he wusses out with a weak ass attempt? When Bynum checks out for entire games at a time? Or when vs the Bobcats, N Mohammed drops 23 pts and 17 rebounds agains Gasol and Bynum? N Mohammed!!!!

Great article Mr Green!

Kobe is nothing but a ball hog.He is egoistical, selfish, has character flaws and the team was extremely happy playing without him these last 3 games

The ball moved better, there was chemistry, and evrybody touched the ball

Trade Kobe, Mitch

I can't stand the guy!!

He loves himself so much and thinks he's so great he should play with a mirror and just keep looking at himself!!!!

If Kobe is already out of the ASG, you have to wonder how bad the injury really is? Doesn't sound good.

Yes finally ... tired of hearing all these commentators on TNT, NBA TV, FSN / KCAL, CBS talk around the issue ... you hit the nail on the head - 3 best wins of the year .. why?? TEAM BALL - the ball move, it just doesn't stop like it does when Kobe is playing. Even if he shoots 50% 11/22 - that basically is like 11 turnovers!! Kobe should be like one of his idols - Magic - 18pts, 12 ast, 10 rebounds .. how's that for an MVP!

Kobe has won 4 NBA title his way. Continue doing it.

When you lose someone like Kobe or Jordan (when he went to pursue baseball), the thing that happens is that the team is still good (in the triangle). Wasn't the Bulls a horrible referee call away from the NBA Finals? Jordan won three more titles when he came back.

Mr. Green,

Did you totally forget about the games earlier this season where the Lakers were totally dominant and efficient and flowing when Pau was out? Why have you not also written a diatribe that says the Lakers player better team ball without Pau? The sample size of non-Pau domination is roughly 5 times as large as the sample size of non-Kobe domination.

The non-Pau games include a much larger variety of opponents and situations and the Lakers simply couldn't loose during those stretches.

Completely forgotten, huh?

Though I have no idea of who you are, your first impression gives you no credibility.

BTW, Kobe shot better without Pau than Pau is shoting without Kobe.

What does that mean?

--FEARless

I think the Lakers are better without Bynum. I know they beat three "playoff" teams but the Blazers played without Brandon Roy, the Jazz were playing after flying back from a late game in LA, and the Spurs haven't beaten good teams on the road all year anyway. It's not like they just beat the Cavs in Cleveland.

Bynum plays only intermittent defense, clogs the lane, doesn't get up and down the court unless he has a chance to finish a fast break, and almost NEVER passes out of the post. With Odom, at least he spreads the floor a little better, can lead a break, and goes after rebounds (or at least he does now).

If Odom and Farmar played all the time the way they have been playing (aggressive, assertive basketball) the Lakers are better off. Kobe does take over games but usually only when the team is down - often a result of the poor bench play. Yes hopefully this stretch reminds Kobe that his teammates are capable, but just as much it will hopefully remind his teammates that they are capable and not always fall back on the fact that Kobe can get his shot with the clock winding down.

"And why, in the last four minutes of every single close Laker game, must Kobe seemingly take 80% of the shots in crunch time? Or is it 90%? "

- If he gives the ball to LO, he'll either clank the rim or blow the lay-up. Worse, he might get fouled and miss one/both FTs.
- If he gives to Pau - same, he'd get cold feet/hands and fumble the ball or miss FTs (Cavs game)

Also, find out and tell me which team lets the 3rd/2nd best player to take the shots when the game is on the line??

- I have never seen Lebron James give an assist to Anderson Varejao when they're down 3 with 30 sec to go.
- Does Wade give the ball to Haslem/Beasley when the opposition is breathing on their backs??

They take the shots, because they believe and they know they are better players than the others. Next time when Kobe passes the ball, ask LO or Pau to MAKE the shot. Then lets talk!!

GANAPIA:

You wrote:"Its funny why we always tend to look for the most complicated option and always try to discover something new. OK, if nobody else notice this or that before you it might be because...there is NOTHING to see! "

Welcome to Mental Ward:

FYI, Mark Medina is the warden and Ted Green today is the special guest therapist.

Today's Therapy: This therapy is designed to jolt the patients out of suspended animation

Some long time resident patients listed below:

Note: All patients are under anonymity for safety reasons.

patient #1: "ummm, err, yeah...ummm, love is ..umm"
patient #2: "You are an idiot"
patient #3: "Out freaking standing"
patient #4: "elder"
patient #5: "Bynum is a beast"
patient #5: Kobe dies to' win RINGS man.

"The Lakers apparently play better team basketball without Kobe Bryant."
--
The Kobe-less Lakers have not been fully scouted by opposing teams. Now that there are 3 game tapes to review, the opposing teams will adjust if the Lakers have more games without KB.

Two things...


1. 2 games does not really give us any solid reference that the Lakers play "better" without Kobe. If youre a keen observer in basketball mr.journalist, I think you'd see that teams adjust to certain team tendencies. Lakers is in a way Kobe-centric and thats how other teams play them, now take kobe out then you need to "guess" how the other players respond to the circumstance. Before the other team knows it, and adjust, they've already been blown-out.

If I can remember, the first season bynum started to be aggressive in the paint, he had a few games that the other teams didnt know how to approach the new offense. Same when they got Pau gasol.

My point is, I wouldnt be surprised if other coaches adjust they defense to fit the new Laker roster.

second point, its not just offense that kills... you forgot a point that they also played good D. And I guess its because kobe also hogs defense all the time thats why now they play better D?

A win can either be dominating or a tight win. it really doesnt make any logic to whatever youre reporting because its 3 games out of 12 seasons (might be wrong) of kobe and the lakers...

Seriously, we have to stop blaming this one dude. They are PROS, and lamar, pau and the other should try to do that every single game - being aggressive... I can't believe were all blaming kobe for lamar's passiveness.

I dont care if its a blowout or a 1 point at the buzzer win... a win is still a win. Big picture, kobe doesnt need to change his game that much, other players just have to be consistent with what they do.

If you want a passing kobe, then what youre getting is Lamar v2.0. Id raher have the killer instinct kobe anytime.

No matter how much people want to call Ted Green a Kobe hater, the fact is that his commentary is dead-on. It is ridiculous the lengths to which Kobe will go to make sure that he gets every last final shot - the only time he will pass is when the other team runs 2 or more guys at him, like the recent game that he threw the pass to Artest that left Artest with barely any time to get a shot up. As great as Kobe is, and as much as he doesn't trust some of his teammates, there is no excuse for not trusting Gasol and running the offense through the post and then kicking out for open shots. Kobe is all about Kobe at the end of the day - always has, always will be, and sometimes it is enough to get the job done, but how much easier it would be if he didn't make it all about himself.

and another thing...

Ted Green,

I couldn't help but notice how you titled and began you post with the loss-leader type of gotcha statement...

"The Lakers apparently play better team basketball without Kobe Bryant."

and then half-way through you try and switch gears and become, as you might call it, "reasoned"...

"I'm not saying they're a better team without Kobe"

If I didn't know better, I'd think that you were trying to have it both ways here. I think that perhaps your exercise in hair-splitting is a cheap gimmick to incite controversy. In my view the better team plays better team basketball, by definition. What is the goal of team basketball anyway, because if it's not about winning then maybe you're on to something?

@Mark G --- ROFLMAO! Good one.

Don't ever forget-Kobe-is and will always be the GOAT! Don't you know he organized this whole i'm injured thing-so LamPaul and others would show some B@lls. How do you think it feels when he gives his Heart and Soul in every game and the rest are happy getting a check and just trying every other play or two? He's showing them that they could do it-sometimes-even without him. But they need to show fortitude and dauntlessness every night every time! The Mamba does. Don't ever wish him to go away-don't ever badmouth him-never doubt-have faith and courage that our Hero will always come true, will always prevail! Long Live the Mamba!!!!!!!!!

Kobe only gets the results that he does (I'm talking wins here) because of the cast he is surrounded by. Remember the year or two after Shaq left and before Gasol came - the team was barely average. I would like to know how quick people would be to defend him if we had never obtained Gasol and we were in our 4th year of watching Kobe score 50 points a night for an average team. If Lebron were substituted for Kobe, this would be a better team, because Lebron gets his points in the flow of the offense - in contrast to Kobe, whose whole game is disruptive to any offensive flow. I don't understand how some people can argue that this is not an issue when his very own coach is constantly commenting on it.

Great article. I couldn't agree more with your observations. Any true laker fan can see these elements.

Is Kobe the only reason why our play has been so inconsistent this year? - Of course not

Should he change his game to adapt to what the team needs - of course, which is less shots, more distribution.

All the great ones adapt to what the team needs....we don't need him to go one on three anymore and take half the team shots....

just watch what that guy over on the Cavs has been doing...

Who the hell are all you people? Where did you come from? Disciples, friends, and relatives of Ted Green? Or does Ted have 87 email addresses?

For three nights, a group of inconsistent role players stepped up and rose to the occasion in the absence of their leader. They showed their mettle. They showed they were worthy Lakers.

Is this a shock to anybody? It shouldn't be. They didn't make the roster because they were chopped liver. They did what they were trained to do in practice after practice. They played team basketball because that's what they do.

It's going to be a different kind of basketball when Mamba is in the lineup. He's unique. That doesn't make him an impediment to a winning team.

Ted Green's post is like an ugly magnet on a refrigerator holding all the soiled and tattered reminders for the shopping list belonging to all the Kobe haters. [Ex, you're excluded from this diatribe because of the knowledgeable and reasoned way you expressed your point.]

What developed over three nights in February will carry over to solidify this team when Kobe returns. If you don't like Kobe, go root for the Princess in Cleveland or Kevin Garnett in Boston. You want Showtime back? Crawl into a time machine. It's a different day. Get over it. If you're a true Lakers fan, you know the team is better with Kobe. Go Lakers!

Great Points DJ.

Obviously Ted needs a liitle more work on the journalism side to bring out broader points.

1) These guys are being paid millions of dollars to throw a ball in a hoop, rebound, and hustle up and down the court. They should be able to to play this way every night regardless of who is on the floor. If people can hustle for $7 an hour you better be able to play hard for millions.

2) If these guys played this hard all the time Kobe wouldn't be as aggressive in his game. We all remember the Celtics series of 2008. Where was Gasol's 20 rebounds and where was Odom breaking down the defense. Where was Gasol's 19 rebounds versus the Cavs this year. As DJ stated these games where not against elite teams. Let's see that vs Denver and the Cavs or against a physical Celts team.

3) Talent is not everything. The Lakers have more talent then anyone but they just don't play hard all the time. I belive itr was Odom who said " we are just cocky". You think Kobe is personally responsible when someone doesn't box out or grab a rebound. The Houston Rockets don't have near the talent as the Lakers but they play hard. Same thing with the Bobcats.

4)It is amazing to see people wanting to make it seem like everything is Kobe's fault. In LA we want wins and we want flair. Showtime Lakers won and they were exciting. The SHAQ-Kobe Lakers won and were exciting. Truth is LA doesn't just want a SPURS (we they won their championships or Detroit Pistons (when they beat the Lakers a few years ago)boring ball. LA wants it both ways. We are not the blue collar East coast teams and never will be. LA can win with flair and teamwork if everyone received a check based on how they played.

5) A few years ago we were at the bottom and couldn't beat Phoenix to save our life. We have constantly talked about how LO is inconsistent, Gasol is soft, Farmar not good enough, D Fish too old and slow, etc. Now because they win three straight against Portland (without Oden, Prizbila and Roy), the Spurs (playing a step behind all year) and Utah (when were they really a threat to go the Final?) some people want to put the spot light on Kobe. Maybe these guys have been sandbagging. I remember people used to say that Kobe muffled his play during the game only to try and takeover when he wanted or to teach the team a lesson. Maybe we need to look at the other team members and look at the performance curve.

We need to be careful on how we treat Kobe. The Lakers are a brand but KOBE has been the carrying the torch for years. It doesn't mean that we are not critical of his game but we need to be fair. LA is not the same without the SUPERSTAR. KOBE is closer to Michael J and not Magic Johnson. As great as Jordan was the Bulls really won with their suffocating defense and not the offense. Jordan was not playing defense by himself. He had a bunch of pitbulls that hustled every night. Isn't it time for Kobe not to be the only Dog in the fight. If the whole team plays that hard every night we don't lose to any team in the NBA. Kobe would be overjoyed if that took place on the court every night.

This is all Phil's fault. If he was any kind of coach he would sit FishWrap and place Kobe at the point. This would make him pass and run the Triangle correctly. What a shame we have a great team we just don't get to see it.


BD

Man, this blog is awesome. I love it here.
So many posts, so many posts. Laker fans coming out of the woodwork.
All the lurkers showing themselves, awesome!
Seems some peeps hate the comments that they disagree with, I love the back and forth.

But people, where'd the humor go. I mean, some of you guys are funnier than a stand up comic on acid.
Wheres the dry sarcasm and the comments so unbelievable they are hysterical.
Jon K, please come out the cave and jump in, I love when you really get into one of your posts. Others too, sorry, just cant remember all the good posters names.

Seems theres some real anger floating around, so I guess Ted Green deserves a kudo for the article. I mean, the best books and movies are those that can generate real emotion. So congrats Mr Ted and you too Mr Mark for posting this. You went into a hornets nest that was already riled up and lit a fire, so expect a few stings.


wow.. were to start?I'm with mage,wood amaterasu,pride..(u get the idea) I don't agree he overshot the memphis game tho I mean 16/28 is good besides didn't Carter jus shoot 19/27 (which is a little better) but howard still got 23(i think) points?I'm sure he had a ton a rebounds also unlike Pau.. usually when a palyer goes to a play where he was traded he goes off..maybe it isn't in pau..maybe he wanted to thank memphis for the trade..maybe he wanted little pro to get the win..lol
seriously tho common where did all this Kobe-hate come from..another point in the boston game howard was only 4/9 they still won and not by 1 point..so like a lot have pointed out the bigs need to d up and rebound regularly.... not when they feel like.
do some posters watch all laker games? do they watch other teams?I mean expecially teams that beat us?? from Ted whatever down it doesn't seem that way...

just saying...


aztronut: You said: "Kobe just needs to adjust his game a bit when he returns and get everyone else more involved in the flow, both offensively and defensively."

You still seem not to get it. You seem to think he has to "DO" something to "get" the others more involved.

The point is, without him, everyone already IS involved. What he has to "do" when he comes back is just not screw it up. He needs to play like any other player on the floor, both offensively and defensively.

He needs to run the same offense that everyone else is running, and he needs to play the same defense that everyone else is playing.

This doesn't involve any "doing" on his part. It doesn't involve any "heroism." It just means being Everyman---EveryLakerMan, that is.

And that's what he finds so hard. He just can't bear to be one player (albeit a great one) among a team of excellent players. He feels his role needs to be a "special" one---and he has yet to show that he can live without that for more than a game at a time.

No Kobe in the all star game. Hmm, this injury may be more than we know. Well, hopefully Lakers recent play will convince him to take as long as needed. I want him back, but at full strength. Besides, lets say Kobe needs the rest of Feb to get healthy, that would be a real test for the team, they have some tough games coming up (Celts and Nugs) with back to backs. Their results at the end of Feb would go a long way towards showing whether this 3 game explosion will fizzle or if its for real. In a way, I'd kinda like to see what happens. But in the end, I do want to see a healthy Kobster.
Hey, maybe Kobe shouldnt come back until the Lakers lose a game.
I mean, just for fun.

 
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