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Just when it looked like The LA Lakers were set to crush to the one seed out west, and just after an impressive come from behind win against The Utah Jazz at Utah, The Lakers have now dropped 3 straight games. as a life long Laker fan, and knowing this team inside and out, it appears the win at Utah gave The Lakers a sense of “arrogance” as if ” we can come behind from any decifit in any game, and win. During their 3 game losing streak, The Lakers went back to lazy and selfish Basketball, namely Kobe Byrant, holding the ball on offense, allowing defenses to set up in the proper positions, and allowing easy help rotations. Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum continues to post a high field goal percentage during the 3 games, but has not had nearly enough post touches to be an effect scorer. This really bothers me about Kobe and The Lakers. Kobe’s shooting percentage during these 3 games is horrid, as he just continues to insist to put up low percentage shots, hold the ball, dribble into double teams, and try to take over too many games late. The Lakers started off their last loss against The Utah Jazz at home, with good ball movement, post isolation dump offs, and effective pick posting. Bynum gets the ball, Gasol gets the ball, and they ” go to work”… This is what gives The Lakers an advantage over the rest of the NBA.
But then for some reason, Phil Jackson decides not to “coach in the game”, and The Lakers go back to Kobe, who in turn goes into the land of “Kobe-Dar”
Personally, I am sick of the comparisions to Jordan, Kobe is not even close.. Sure, talent wise he is, but BRAIN WISE, no where in the galaxy!! When did we ever see Jordan try to force shots over 3 defenders? When did Jordan ever quit in the play offs? Kobe did in 2006, after being criticized for taking too many shots. he went full “spoiled brat” and just quit against The Suns. Jordan took over games when the DEFENSES allowed him to. When they doubled, he found team mates for open looks..
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Ever see Kobe pass the ball in the last 10 seconds of a game with the game on the line? Jordan did many times; The famous Steve Kerr shot for the win, John Paxton for the win, Bj Armstrong… Can anyone think of a time Kobe did this in the last possesion of a game with the game on the line? Kobe has 5 rings because of post play in spite of his antics last year, trying as hard as he could to hand The Celtics game 7, helping to dig his team a 12 point halftime deficit with horrendus shots against double and triple team help rotations. (Boston does this very well) The key for The Lakers is again, post play, where they have a big advantage over the rest of The NBA.. Kobe needs to learn to be a spot up shooter, and needs to stop holding the ball so much and for so long into the shot clock. Kobe did this when Shaq was with The Lakers, and they won 3 titles in a row..
Andrew Bynum needs to be hoisting up at least 15 shots a game. He is long, strong, and finally healthy. The whole Laker team needs to stop with the arrogant play and instead, execute and be extremely confident in their proper execution, not arrogant in terms of thinking “we are The Lakers.” Bynum needs to be playing the last 6 minutes of every game, and Jackson needs to learn to ditch The Triangle more and actually coach a little x’s and o’s.. The Triangle is effective in spots, but not all the time. Jackson needs to stop relying on his players as much to make the decisions, and go more with those set plays where he makes the decisions. (The Triangle relies on players to make the decisions, there are normally no set plays in it) Teams on defense can “shoot the gaps” in the triangle and easily take away the spacing of it.. Good in game coaches adjust. I question whether Jackson has become arrogant himself and has forgot how to coach like this.
Having said all of this. Their defense is still fine. in all 3 games, the most they gave up was 95 to Denver. (who on defense, effectively shot the gaps in the triangle, denying space and passing lanes)
To close, The Lakers need more ball movement to create space, less triangle, more set plays that especially involve both Artest and Bynum, and Kobe needs to more like Jordan, instead of well, KOBE!
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