Resisting Temptation

Gatinho —  January 15, 2006

Poster “Gatinho” (Ga-cheen-yo) dropping in with an in house report from last night’s game. The seats were good, but nobody should have to look at the back of Tim Kawakami’s head for three hours.

The cliche says “Live by three, die by the three,” and that is exactly what the club from Oakland did last night. Taking 32 threes and making only 10 was indicative of the state of the Warrior’s offense. Not a lot of action towards the basket, mixed with a mess of missed free throws is a recipe for disaster in today’s NBA. But the Lakers showed their youth and stuborness by refusing to play solid defense and letting themselves get into the up and down game that the Warriors thrive on. Big nights from Smush and Kwame are enough to make any Laker fan smile, but where , oh where, was Lamar Odom? After flirting with a triple double against Cleveland, he was a disappointing 1-8. There is no excuse for those kind of numbers. In the days where right-minded Laker fans are closely monitoring #8’s volume of shots, it becomes evident that they should instead be monitoring #7’s for different reasons.

The difference between the two clubs was evident. One was attempting to run an offense and the other was jacking up threes off pick and rolls. Mike Montgomery may be revered in the Bay Area for his achievements at Stanford, but it is becoming increasingly evident that Chris Mullin can no longer make moves for the Warriors based on popularity and public sentibment. The question on Warrior fans lip’s last night, and the one I continually challenged them with was, “So, how long until Baron Davis has Monty’s head?” The Warriors attempting to be a participant in the Ron Artest sweepstakes (“Who Wants to marry a Socio-path?”) is an indication that Monty is not long for the revolving door that is the Warriors head coaching position. When guys are on talk radio pining for Eric Musselman, you know you’re job security is in jeopardy.

We were all worried that the Lakers were going to look past this game as they did in their season lowlight loss to the Blazers. He would never admit it, but Kobe wants to beat that chubby guy in Miami something fierce. Looking past this game and being too focused on today’s would have been characteristic of a young team immune to growth.

In our continuing evaluation of exactly where/who/what these Lakers are, pulling out a W last night should fall into the category of “Good teams find a way to win on the road.” Last night was not impressive, Kobe was well below 50% shooting and Odom ineffective. Smush held his against Baron “and 1 mix tape” Davis, but on a night where a loss would have started a disturbing trend of losing to lower tier teams, the Lakers prevailed, placing the memory of the loss to P-land in the category of glitch or hiccup, not the gategory of trend.

Gatinho

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5 responses to Resisting Temptation

  1. Kobe was hardly “well below 50 percent.” He shot 46 percent; turn one of his misses into a make and he’s right at 50 percent. Wasn’t one of his misses a big half-court heave?

    I thought Kobe shot the ball just fine. He’s turning the ball over a bit much for my tastes, trying to make things happen one-on-one rather than letting the triangle offense expose spacing problems, but I’m willing to let him do that on occasion.

  2. stand corrected. I just cringe when I see that he’s under 50%, which he usually is. I know that was a goal (50%) that both he and Phil set at the start of the season. He’s been shooting a lot of three’s lately, which hurts his percentage. He was 1-5 last night. Imagine where his percentage would be without those.

  3. It seems to me that a 50% shooting percentage is a bit optimistic for a guard who carries the offensive load that Kobe carries. I’m usually happy if Kobe shoots above 45%.

    As an off-the-cuff observation, my guess is that Kobe generally shoots about 30% against a triple-team; about 40% against a double-team; about 50% one-on-one, and; about 60% when he’s wide-open. I’m making up these numbers, and they might be totally wrong, and I’m too lazy to look anything up, but that’s my hypothesis.

    My point is the obvious observation that Kobe shoots a higher percentage when he gets good shots. Furthermore, Kobe gets good shots when the Lakers run their offense. Therefore, the reason I want to see a higher shooting percentage is mostly because it means that the Lakers have been running their offense.

    Sure, it’s important for Kobe to shoot a good percentage for its own sake because Kobe takes 30+ shots per game and therefore a low percentage will substantially hurt the team’s shooting percentage.

    More importantly, however, Kobe’s shooting percentage is a secondary indicator of how well the Lakers were executing their offense on any given night.

    Last night, in the Golden State game, I felt the offensive execution was good and Kobe’s 46% shooting percentage confirmed that to me. Odom was obviously a disappointment, but everybody else played very well. The game really wasn’t a Kobe against the Warriors show and that is the most important thing to avoid.

    To the extent that there was a problem offensively, the Lakers allowed themselves to be drawn into an up-tempo game that created problems on the defensive end.

    My biggest complaint at this point in the season is that we haven’t seen very many games where the offense and defense are both executed well on the same night.

  4. In a perfect world, Kobe would take all his shots from somewhere in the paint, or the “kill box” as he calls it.

    50% is optimistic, but besides smaller hands, it’s one of the few areas that Kobe hasn’t been able to “Be Like Mike.” .497 career shooting percentage. Jordan never shot more than 300 three’s in a season at any point in his career, Kobe took almost four hundred last year and has already taken 170 this year.

    I agree with that his percentage is a good indicator of how well the offense is being run. Hopefully, we can start to use his number of shots as an indicator as well.

  5. With Kobe, you also have to take into consideration his free throws, he gets to the line a lot and that can be overlooked by FG%. There are games it seems half his points come from the line.

    That said, even by that standard (using true shooting percentage) Kobe is down this year compared to previous years, but has been better lately.