Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kobe Again Tries New Strategy; Again, Lakers Win

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers erased a 20-point third quarter deficit and came back to beat the San Antonio Spurs last night, 89-85, in the first game of the Western Conference finals. Unlike last week when Kobe decided not to shoot in the fourth quarter of a game against the Jazz, Bryant this time decided not to shoot for essentially the entire first half (he scored a whopping 2 points on three shots). Kobe, however, was calm, cool & collected after the win:
Bryant insisted he was "Just managing the game."

"Defensively is where we slipped. I've had games or halves when I've done that and we had a 15-point lead."

Sounding a little sensitive to how he'll be criticized equally for shooting too much or too little, he said if the Lakers hadn't played better defense to accompany his late scoring burst, "Everybody would be talking about I shot us out of the game. Defense is where it gets down."
Either way, Kobe's Houdini impression in the first half was just plain weird to this Lakers fan. Maybe he has become the penultimate poker player, the NBA's version of a Doyle Brunson, sitting back and determining the suckers at the table (Bruce Bowen, et al), and then unleashing a barrage of offense that he knows they cannot handle.

Of course, the Spurs did sit on the tarmac in New Orleans for something like seven hours after their win over the Hornets on Monday night, so they might have been a tad bit tired and cranky. One would think that a 20 point cushion with a quarter-and-a-half of basketball left would've been enough to insure the win. As Kobe Bryant showed, however, there may be no lead that's safe when he's on the court.

Daily Dime: Lakers Rally Past Spurs


ncsumatman said...

Dude, I think Kobe may have been with his g/f in the locker room. It's a shame she isn't dancing anymore, makes it harder to hook up.

Edwin Jarvis said...

The Black Mamba has to be the Black Mamba.