Kurt —  December 30, 2005

Rule number one in basketball: the team that shoots better wins.

So it’s no shock that the Lakers shoot better in their wins than their losses across the board. But I broke down the true shooting percentages in wins and losses just to see where the better performances are coming from. (I used true shooting % because it takes in to account three pointers and free throws, it is basically your points per shot attempt, in a percentage form).

When the Lakers lose, Kobe has a true shooting % of 50%, when they win it jumps to 55.6%, an increase of 5.6% (or think of it as him shooting 10% better in wins). By the way, Kobe takes an average of .5 fewer shots per game in wins and averages .5 more assists in wins.

Lamar Odom sees a more dramatic increase — his ts% in losses I 49.5% (close to Kobe’s) but in wins it is an impressive 58.6%, meaning he shoots 15% better in the wins.

Everyone else also makes a healthy jump — the rest of the players shoot a poor 46.4% in losses and a good 54.8% in wins. That is also a 15% increase.

Take from this what you will, but yesterday I mentioned the chicken-or-egg problem of Kobe trusting his teammates, and them being inconsistent in earning that trust. It is everyone around Kobe who has the more dramatic increase in shooting efficiency when the Lakers win.


Some other random news and notes going into the holiday weekend:

• Is it just me getting older, or do “The LeBrons” ads suck?

• Do you want to be the next John Hollinger? (This is one of my favorite blog posts of the year.)

• Kobe got frustrated at the lack of execution at the end of the Washington game, knocked over a television and yelled at people. That’s got the mainstream media (especially back East) saying Kobe’s back to his Diva ways. A more sane picture of that incident — Kobe was frustrated with himself and everyone else at the end of the game and vented. Kobe and Lamar were angry with each other, but we’ve all been pissed at guys before in the heat of something, then had beers with them 48 hours later and the issue was behind us. Bottom line, this is not uncommon in locker rooms, people get over it, but the media needs drama to sell papers/get ratings. That’s the last mention of this in this blog until it becomes an on-the-court issue.

• As Phil mentioned in the paper today (and Gatinho mention in the comments here yesterday), what Kobe needs to do when he gets frustrated is not start breaking out of the offense and taking everything and everyone on. There are moments for that, but there have been too many of them lately.

• Remember a few days I linked to Mark Cuban’s post about how big a disadvantage it is to be in back-to-backs, well the people over at extended that study out to a few years and found the advantage isn’t quite that big.

• Laker officials are denying the Artest rumor.

• Set up your designated driver or place to sleep on New Year’s Eve now, don’t drink and drive. Just a friendly reminder.