The Lakers recently lost to the Denver Nuggets 99-90 in Denver, playing them for the 2nd straight night. Not a horrific loss, infact it was a very entertaining and competitive game. However, unfortunately I saw 1 particular major flaw once again stand out like John Rocker at a NAACP meeting.
Kobe Bryant took 28 shots, missed 22 of them, and on top of that he commited 6 turnovers. He had an awful game and is the only reason the Lakers are 3-3, instead of being at-least 5-1.
Kobe has taken 20+ shots in 3 of the Lakers 6 games, the lakers lost all 3. He's averaging 21.2 shots a game. Kobe is averaging 4.7 turnovers a game. Four Point Seven. Kobe is shooting 19.2% from 3-point range..... while taking 4.3 3"s a game. Half of his 3 point makes came in 1 game.
In a 1 point loss to the Bulls, Kobe had a good night shooting (took 23 shots), but he turned the ball over 8 times against a young athletic Bulls team that thrives in the open court. And was blocked trying to force a GW shot attempt.
In a 9 point loss to the Kings Kobe went 10 for 24. The Lakers probably would've lost that game even if Kobe played smarter.
I already broke down the Nuggets loss, but allow me to go a bit deeper. Not only did Kobe jack up 28 (jump) shots and turn the ball over 6 times, but what really grinds my gears is that Bynum had 18 point and 16 rebounds while pau had 20 and 11. Pau and Bynum both shot over 50% and got anywhere they wanted to on the court. The problem? They only had 28 combined shots, the same amount as Kobe, and they were COMPLETELY ignored down the stretch (which is when the game got out of hand).
I know what you're saying, you're saying "but it's just the first 6 games". And I will inform you that, no...... it's not.
In the series against the Mavs Kobe took 20.8 shots per game. Bynum and Pau in that series? Got a combined 21.7 shots a game. Against a Dallas team with Dirk Nowitzki at the 4. They should've gone at him with Pau every trip down, even if Pau wasn't playing well, and I say the reason he wasn't playing well is because he was ignored to the point where he couldn't get into any kind of a rhythm.
The lakers need to bench Kobe at-least for one game, because he's a selfish prick and he's playing like it. Do you think it's any coincidence that the very next night after Bynum had 29 points in a win that Kobe jacked up 28 shots? I don't. Kobe is afraid of Bynum, because he knows if it comes down to him or Kobe, the Lakers are going to go with the young player just like they did with Kobe and Shaq. That's why he wasn't happy with the Chris Paul trade, it wasn't because he thought it was bad for the team, he saw it as competition.
Winning isn't good enough for Kobe. he has to be the reason they win for him to be happy. He's Michael Jordan without the skill to get away with it. Even when they were winning the title Kobe insisted on being the primary offensive player despite the fact he was playing like flaming horse manure only to be bailed out by Pau Gasol in game 7 against the Celtics and by Pau, Bynum, and Lamar Odom's D on Dwight Howard against the Magic.
The Lakers are a championship caliber team when they play the right way. Mike Brown has done an unbelievable job with this defense, he's already getting them to play championship caliber defense, AND he clearly agrees with me on one point. He's repeated time after time that the offense should be run through the post.
I say championship caliber if they play the right way is because they have to. If they play OKC, Denver, Miami or any other young, high flying, fast breaking team in the play-offs, and they will. The only way they will win is if they control tempo, and how do you control tempo? Take and make good shots, don't turn the ball over, and don't force jump shots. When Kobe is being Kobe, the Lakers tend to do none of those things.
If you really think about it, the team best equipped to beat the Heat are the Lakers, because they're the one team that can exploit the Heat's only flaws. Half court execution and lack of quality size on defense. The problem if they get that far, Kobe. Will Kobe let the Lakers bigs control games and control the series? Probably not with his attitude the way it is right now.
The Lakers are a great team. Seasoned veterans all over the place, 2 All-star caliber big men, and 1-2 quality back-ups at every position. Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy have been terrific so far, MUCH better than Lamar Odom because they give 100% effort 100% of the time, while Odom gave 25% effort 75% of the time. Steve Blake and Jason Kapono are great shooters, and Metta World Peace is playing like Ron Artest coming off the bench.
I'm not saying Kobe is a bad player, when he plays within the offense and has good shot selection, he's a back breaker. What I'm saying now is that Mike Brown and the Lakers should make a point now and bench him for 1 game, and deal with the BS that would come with it early on in the season, instead of having Kobe shoot a potential championship away.