True or False: The Lakers are undefeated when Kobe Bryant scores +40 points this season?
Answer: False. They’re actually 0-2.
Yesterday they essentially got run out of their own building by a Celtics team at full strength. The Lakers looked slow and soft something that has been a recurring theme the past 3 seasons during the regular season.
Kobe statistically played exceptional (scoring):
16-29, 3-5, 6-7 shooting with 41 points.
But only THREE rebounds, ZERO assists, ZERO steals, ZERO blocks.
There is no denying he put his team on his back but as my friend Adam said, “It’s like that guy at open gym that jacks up every shot and you know you’re never going to get the ball. It doesn’t make you want to hustle, pass or play defense.”
I think that’s what happened to the Lakers yesterday. Everyone become disinterested because they knew they weren’t going to be involved. Lakers were -9 with Kobe on the floor.
On the flip side the Lakers have two glaring problems:
1. No Real Point Guard: It’s not so much on the offensive end but on the defensive side of the court. They have no one to check the speedy point guards. In last year’s NBA Finals, Kobe did the whole guard Rondo thing but he’s much improved and I don’t think that is going to work. But look, do you think Derek Fisher, Steve Black and even Shannon Brown can shut down these PGs they might see in the playoffs?
- Tony Parker
- Chris Paul
- Russell Westbrook
- Deron Williams
- Rajon Rondo
- Derrick Rose
- They should be okay against: Kidd, Billups and Andre Miller
2. No Interior Toughness: Kendrick Perkins is an absolute difference maker. If he doesn’t get hurt last year I think the Celtics win the title. I really do; hindsight is 20/20 but the Lakers wouldn’t have had the offensive rebounding party with him in the paint.
As Fugazi as KG may be, he brings a certain degree of verbal and persona toughness-not necessarily physical. As fat as Glen Davis can be, he brings physical play. As Old as Shaq is he’s going to throw his body around for 6 fouls. Harangody and Erden will even go in there and just hack if need be. I don’t see that from the Lakers bench. You can’t tell me that Derrick Caracter, Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith will go in there and exert their force.
Lakers have some work to do because right now they aren’t in the Top 4 in my power rankings. Miami, Boston and San Antonio are all looking much better than they are right now. But then again the playoffs start in the spring.