Kobe needs to stop being Kobe.
Yeah, I know he's super clutch, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I've become numb to that argument. It's just ridiculous jibber jabber as far as I'm concerned.
This isn't 2005, and Kobe is no longer in his prime. Not only that, the team around him is the best in the NBA, and would contend for a title without him. Yet, he continues to jack up shots (3rd most per game in the NBA!!!) and ignore his big men.
Just use last night's game as an example. Kobe shoots 20 shots, already not good, but then add in the fact that Bynum only gets 5 shots and Pau gets just 11, 16 combined. Kobe's outshooting both of them put together. That's not a winning formula when you have the best Interior play in the NBA.
And this is against the Golden State Warriors. Imagine what could happen against the Thunder, a team that plays an up-tempo style like Golden State, except they're better, MUCH better. It could be disastrous if the Lakers don't use their advantage inside.
And it's not just the Thunder, some people dismissed those 2 losses against the Heat by saying that it's just the regular season. BS, the Heat scare me to death. Not because I think they're a great team (right now), it's that with the way the Lakers play (really, Just Kobe, I don't see D-Fish jacking up 20 shots), it plays right into the hands of the Heat. Kobe jacks up 30 shots, makes 10 (because D-wade is better than Kobe), and Pau and Bynum combine for like 15 shots and make 11. Meanwhile the Heat are dropping 120 because Kobe is making what equates to TO's and the Heat get to play fast break Basket Ball.
The Lakers big men can only hide this flaw for so long with their efficiency and ability to effect games in other ways (Each average around 2 blocks a game and around 10 boards). They can't do it for ever.
And I'm not saying that Kobe's all bad. He could make this team better if he would become a REAL team player, not a phony team player like he is now. He hasn't magically become a team player, the team around him just got better.
How does he become a real team player you ask? By stopping. Stop hogging the ball, stop forcing shots, and stop ignoring the big men (I mean really, they're 7 feet tall, how could you miss them?). Then, when the situation calls for it, and the D is focused on the big men, you take/make a few shots to keep the D honest.
I'm not asking him to be Jason Kidd. I'm thinking 15 shots a game, maybe touch 20-25 on nights when he's really feeling it. That, I would be happy with.
I still think the Lakers will 3-peat, the title was just to get you to read. The Big men are to good to not be the deciding factor in a 7 game series against MOST teams, but let me put it to you this way, I as a Laker fan will be rooting for the Thunder to be upset in the 1st round and the Heat to lose before the finals, because if they don't, I'll have to watch the series' with my hand over my eyes.
I don't know how long I can wait for #17, that's the big one.......