44. That’s how many shots Kobe took to score 48 points in the circus ring known as Key Arena Monday night.
Was it too many? Is the sky falling? Has my agent called me back?
Here are the Lakers individual offensive stats from the contest:
EFG% factors in 3-pointers, TS% factors in free throws, ORTG is points per 100 possessions, POS% is the percentage of team possessions a player uses
PLAYER EFG% TS% ORTG POS% D. Fisher 60.00% 60.00% 117.57 7.15% K. Bryant 50.00% 50.98% 100.74 35.98% L. Odom 20.00% 20.00% 67.5 15.66% L. Walton 16.67% 29.07% 108.8 7.44% K. Brown 75.00% 75.30% 118.19 7.49% R. Turiaf 60.00% 78.13% 132.73 9.46% T. Ariza 58.33% 65.41% 121.67 6.65% J. Farmar 100.00% 100.00% 199.27 4.84% J. Crittenton 50.00% 58.14% 122.37 5.33%
Here is Kobe’s season average going into Seattle:
PLAYER EFG% TS% ORTG POS% K. Bryant 48.57% 56.08% 110.48 24.48%
Just for a fun comparison, here is the season average for another run-of-the-mill NBA player:
PLAYER EFG% TS% ORTG POS% L. James 50.94% 55.98% 113.18 23.94%
First, notice that Kobe wasn’t taking all those shots because his teammates were letting him down. Far from it. Only Lamar Odom had an off night offensively. (The whole team had an off night defensively.) Even Luke, who had a terrible shooting night, had a respectable ORtg due to his 7 assists.
Kobe also stayed pretty efficient. His ORtg was down roughly 10 points, but that was accompanied by a roughly 10% increase in possession usage. Your average player does not come close to trading a point of efficiency for a percentage point of usage at that end of the scale. Most players slide into oblivion if they try to go above their optimal norm. Lamar would be a great example. His season average is an ORtg of 104.77 with a POS% of 11.60%. Check his line above against that.
Kobe only had 7 FTA and made 4. That is plain ridiculous. Usually when Kobe puts up 48 or so, a good chunk of that will come at the line. Tonight, only a paltry 4 points.
So when I look at these numbers, I can conclude that Kobe rocks the casbah. He may have taken a lot of shots, but they were for the most part good ones/he was having one of those nights. He just couldn’t have kept up his efficiency levels if he was taking a lot of ill-advised shots. (Though to be fair, for most players every other shot Kobe takes would be ill-advised.) His teammates stayed involved and ran the offense well. Furthermore, while watching the game I never felt that Kobe was trying to do too much. It all seemed to flow fairly naturally, though I wouldn’t argue too hard over the final two minutes and OT. But that’s why the man gets paid.
Oh, that and having the Lakers on top of the Western Conference.