Another Day, Another Kobe Buzzer Beater

Kurt —  January 2, 2010

You can say the Lakers should have not had this much trouble with an undermanned Kings team. You can say they can’t keep relying on Kobe game winners. You can say the slump continues if you want.

But this has been a special season of game winners for Kobe, and more than anything we need to enjoy it. To revel in it. To savor it over and over. There is nobody quite like the man and we are lucky to get to witness it.

Kurt

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83 responses to Another Day, Another Kobe Buzzer Beater

  1. I can’t believe I missed this game! arggh!

    That was his “easiest” miracle yet :)

    Kobe should be called The American Taxpayers, for all the bailouts he does. Seriously, we should be 23-9 right now.

    (But remember folks: Kobe is not clutch, because I’m sure he missed a bunch in the last 5 minutes. You easily excitable fans who go nuts when Kobe hits a game winner just don’t understand statistics.)

  2. It is not supposed to be like this. This Lakers squad has many, many various scoring options, yet, Kobe is leading the league in scoring this season. Not just the clutch shots he makes once a week, but when he has an off-night, he will just drop around 28 or so, with his shooting hand injured, bye the way. Isn’t this just wonderful to witness this season…

    “Nobody will believe in you unless you believe in yourself.” – Liberace

  3. Btw, when I first saw that I thought Kobe stepped on the line, but on the replay you can see the Kings coach in the black suit pointing at the sideline as Kobe approach it (“watch his feet !”), then stood up when Kobe took the shot. The guy in the gray suit looked down right at Kobe’s feet but showed no reaction. Kobe must’ve been in bound. A game of inches indeed!

  4. Every team has it’s struggles and all the top teams are finding it hard right now. The Lakers are winning the games they should be winning but would have lost if they weren’t something special. Even last season, they would have lost this game.

  5. You could just sense this coming watching Kobe stand up from the bench after the last time out, and as soon as he got open for the shot you had to think “there it is”, but it’s still just incredible to have thought through all that and then watch as the ball goes through the net at the buzzer. Again.

    Great job by Pau of getting Kobe the ball, and that really wasn’t that easy of a wide open shot – the catch and gather was pretty tricky, and that was a hell of a tightrope act on the sideline as well.

  6. no question Kobe was inbounds on that shot. Paul Westphal never even saw the shot. He had his eyes on Kobes feet the whole time. Had Kobes heel touched the line Westphal would have erupted.
    Got to hand it to the Lakers they held Sac to 44 in the second halve to pull the win out. When they want to play they can really shut a hot shooting team down.

  7. This is not right. It is ok for the record but the scoring and the passing should be more evenly divided. This is the big flaw right now. I hope the can up this a notch when it counts.
    Being down in double digits and waiting for Kobe to rescue only works with B class teams (See FInals against Boston).
    And the law of statisitcs say that Ko0be magic will not always work.
    The big difference will be Bynum’s performance. He will the factor which wil effect how easily and dominant the Lakers win. I must say. I haven’t seen a real outstanding performance of the Lakers in the last weeks.

  8. It’s 2 a.m. and I just finished watching my saved game and I still have chills. Had to come on this site and relieve it all over. I had studiously avoided all updates, ignored my phone’s twitter messages, everything. I don’t know why, but something told me to not spoil it and watch the game in it’s entirety. I wasn’t so sure after that atrocious first half but I hung on and still refused to check scores and shut it off. My faith was rewarded.

    Fellow Laker fans we are just so privileged to watch Kobe. I grew up with the Showtime Lakers and Magic is still my favorite Laker but Kobe is special. It is just freaking awesome to watch him.

    It wasn’t just the buzzer beater, but that 3rd quarter, he just put the team on his back. That was a demonstration of willing a team to a win. A special, special player.

  9. Do not take him for granted kids. You are witnessing one of the greatest to ever step on the floor, and I will say once again that we are all definitely spoiled.

  10. Hillary Ocholla January 2, 2010 at 3:58 am

    When that shot went in, I thought Kobe didn’t beat the buzzer. It’s simply amazing how the ball left his hand with 0.1 on the clock.

  11. Albert from Taiwan January 2, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Lakers fans, don’t take Kobe for granted. It is such a blessing to have a player so special to hit these amazing shots. When it is all said and done, Kobe will be regarded as the most clutch player ever; a true winner. Micheal Jordan played with favoritism from the refs and the league; a manufactured icon. Kobe on the other hand, plays with fair level of officiating. He excels with sheer will and skills. MVP – MVP – MVP!

  12. just can’t help but be disturbed, was that white thing sticking out of kobe’s release a wrapped finger? that looked like some wraps from a mummy shooting a 3.

    man is kobe a warrior.

  13. in other news: nate robinson proving once again that d´antoni cant coach.

    i hope kobe gets another mvp this year, he truly deserves it.

  14. @ 1

    go on and read Hollinger and BB ”advanced” stats,hop on the nba yahoo espn bandwagon of bashing Kobe all you want till you go numbers crazy :)

    I am really lucky and honored to watch Kobe’s excellence for 13 years.He misses free throws so what,that’s a setup for the buzzkill:)

  15. Please, not another MJ comparison. This thread is about Kobe.

  16. And one other thing.I don’t know why but Lakers seem to bring out the best from the opponents these days.I mean come on Spencer Hawes 4/5 from downtown?Kings’ bunch are some young and quality players.Give credit to them shooting lights out,and some were Kobe -like buzzer beating treys.I say let’s get Casspi and Hawes to the team :)

  17. lesha: in other news: nate robinson proving once again that d´antoni cant coach.

    For what he wants to do. Nate Robinson does not fit. He wants a Steve Nash type point guard. If he had Chris Paul he would be in Heaven. Nate holds the ball too long, dribbles too much, and shoots wildly. I would love to have him in LA but I think the 41 just made that impossible.

    Kobe is not the best ever, but he belongs in the same breath as Jordan, Magic, Bird, West, and Oscar Robertson. Those six (including Kobe) are the best ever to play the game. We should not debate the order, just appreciate their individual games.

  18. This game proved, once again, that the Pelton’s of the world have real problems when they rely so heavily on statistics. Statistics require that you have observable, repeatable boundaries that frame your measurements.

    The problem with basketball – and Kobe, in particular – is that everything is contextual. What I mean by that is that clutch cannot be measured in the last 5 minutes of a game. It is measured by an individual knowing when his team needs him and producing during that particular time. This may be in the 1st qtr or the last 10 seconds of a game. It is this contextual framework about clutch that is impossible to quantify. You have to just watch it.

    This is one reason that we have such trouble giving the greats of past years so much credit — we have to watch them in games to understand and many of us are not old enough. Even film isn’t as good as real life, because in real life we don’t know the outcome beforehand and we feel the tension in a way that later viewers cannot imagine.

    All you statisticians out there, remember that you can’t – and really don’t even try to take the pressure, emotion, and – yes – timing into account. Therefore, please don’t try to tell us that you can deduce the definitive answer to ‘clutch players’.

  19. busboys4me, I agree with you. Trying to debate who is the best player ever is fun, but ultimately a waste of time. I never got to see Oscar or Jerry play, but I’ve heard enough stories and read enough about them. Personally, I would add Dr. J to the discussion, but that’s just me.

    One thing we seem to be forgetting though is that we never should have fallen 20 points down to the Kings!

    It’s funny that we nit-pick and worry about a team with the best record so far this year, but Kurt is right, we need to play better defense.

  20. @17:

    its nice that he wants someone like steve nash or chris paul. 99,9% of the nba coaches want that. but i think its his job to get the best result out of the roster that he has. sitting someone for over a month who can drop some points any second is not how you make your team better, its just showing your ego.
    you can argue that nate´s defense is really poor, or that he dribbles too much, but thats not a reason to sit such a gifter player, especially since youre then stuck with duhon.

    nate might not make the wisest decisions on the court, but he does give it his all (just like lee) and he really gets the crowd into it.

    i really hope that no significant free agent comes to ny this summer, because they treat the two players who basically killed themselfes for this team the last couple of years like ****. i mean, lee is averaging 19 / 11 / 3 and still comes up in every trade rumor linked to the knicks. thats NOT how you treat your most consistent player who even gave up longtime security by signing a one year deal to help this crappy team out.

  21. it was a bad pass by gasol, but turned into an assist somehow. i wonder, after kobe caught the ball with one hand, if he knew he could beat the buzzer, or if it was his unconsciousness that had him to gather his foot in time. simply amazing

  22. by the way, if Kobe were a regular guy doing a regular job, he’d be on Work Comp right now instead of being employee of the month.

  23. Off the topic, but if you wanna see Sasha in the role of Shaq (no misprints there) check out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFhS5F7ubJs

  24. All these close games against weaker opponents sure are messing with our Hollinger rating. I wonder if they give a Hollinger O’Brien trophy at the end of the season or one could hang a Hollinger banner.
    We also should seriously consider trading in our banged up, hater inspiring, statistical conundrum of a Kobe Bean Bryant for a more clutch baller. Then we’ll have a little less vitriol from the masses, but we sure will miss the drama…and the wins.

  25. “Nate holds the ball too long, dribbles too much, and shoots wildly. I would love to have him in LA…”

    Yes, sounds like a perfect fit for the triangle. Lakers fans, like no other fan base, covet others. Our team has the best record in the NBA, yet we crave the flavor of he week. Amazing. For the record, Nate is a horrific fit in our offense. Horrific. But he can create a huge locker room distraction when Phil benches him.

  26. Wow. 3 game winning buzzer beaters in the last 4 weeks is not only ridiculous, it is just another example of why Kobe will go down as the greatest Laker ever when he hangs them up. Listen, we aren’t playing our best right now, but we’re still winning – largely due to #24′s efforts. As the defending NBA World Champions, we get every team’s best efforts every night. Even the crappy or middle of the road teams play like world beaters when they play us because we are the measuring stick against which all other teams will measure themselves. And guess what – we still have the best record. Enjoy this season for all that it is, not what you want it to be. We have the best team in basketball and the best player in the game and we’re not even close to being as potent as we will hopefully be come April, May and June.

    And to Kobe – thank you. There have been a few terrible lows with you, but all of the many splendid highs more than outshine those. You are a gift to Laker fans everywhere and to the game of basketball. The body of work that you are still producing definitely deserves to be placed among the pantheon of greats in any sport.

  27. @18,

    Excellent perspective.

  28. “Sasha Vujacic” and “NBA star” in one sentence made me laugh.

  29. Magic Johnson will always be my favorite because he made basketball beautiful to me, in a way that no player has ever come close to doing, but that Kobe can definitely play some basketball.

    Kobe deserves a statue right next to Magic in Staples Center when this is all said and done.

  30. Craig W.,

    Well said. Clutch is also making sure your team erases a 15 pt deficit in 3rd and early 4th Q’s. I’m tired of the seemingly never ending need for half-assed stats to “define” things that can’t be properly defined with numbers.

    Kurt,

    Celtics fans have us beat in coveting other players. They think any and every free agent wants to buy into that “ubuntu” crap as soon as they hit the market. We’re second though.

  31. On D’Antoni/Robinson:

    The Knicks went 9-6 during the month he was benched. Also, since he sat for disciplinary reasons, the move probably helped show to everybody that accountability is important. Strong move by a coach if it works out like that, you really can’t argue with the result in this case.

  32. @wondahbap, yea, Celtics fans do it too. There seems to be a big sense of desperation in that fan base, they realize the window is this year and maybe next year, then the rebuilding starts again.

  33. Celtics fans have us beat in coveting other players. They think any and every free agent wants to buy into that “ubuntu” crap as soon as they hit the market. We’re second though.

    ________

    Well, this reminds me a bit of 1987, in that everyone knew the 1987 Lakers had a great team, but until they got Mychal Thompson, filling the one hole, back-up 4/5, people were nervous. Same thing with this team. With one more good bench player, I think the fanbase would feel comfortable. As it is, I think a lot of folks agree with Hollinger’s take on the team (not the ranking in his power poll, but his opinion).

    And, these last-second games with lottery teams add to that feeling.

  34. My experience is that if the Lakers got another bench player, parts of the fan base would want three more. And LeBron.

  35. Folks I recently pulled out the old 1987 “Drive for Five” championship video tape, and I think I’m going to have to watch it agin! It never gets old.

    In response to the last post, you are right. The acquistion of Mycal Thompson was huge to ’87 and ’88. In regards to this year, I don’t know if we need another piece, or if we simply need to play better defense.

    Regardless, the Lakers still have the best record in the NBA. In the words of Pat Riley at the ’87 Championship parade, “And next year, we’re going to win it again!”

  36. We don’t need another piece. Ron Artest is out, as well as Luke Walton. Kobe just recently broke his index finger and he has already adapted faster than anyone could imagine.

    I’m confident that when we have Farmar, Sasha/Shannon, Walton, Odom, and Gasol out on the floor together, they will play much better. Luke is important to our bench. Let’s not forget his leadership, ability to control the offense and get the ball to the right teammate.

    Lamar has hit some 3′s that has helped the team when we needed, so I can’t put too much blame on him. We all know what comes with Lamar’s incredible versatility and skill set: some nights of lackadaisical play. I would personally like to see Bynum turn up his intensity more, but it may just be that he has a relaxed/laid back personality (which it appears he does).

  37. As great as it is to watch Kobe hit the game winners (and it is GREAT to watch greatness) keep in mind that this is January.

    I am perfectly fine with 80%-90% efforts, and “doing just enough” wins.

    Phil is a master at getting his team to peak in May and June. Kobe and Company are all adept, experienced veterans at this point, and know not only how to win, but how to conserve energy during the long grind of the season.

    Would I love to see June basketball intensity and polish in January? Sure, of course. But not if the price is watching that lead to January basketball in June…

    As far as last night’s shot goes, I suspect that Kobe knew exactly how much time he had (to the .01) before he had to shoot. That I think that for a moment is testimony to how amazing Kobe and his work ethic are. I am almost certain that he and an assistant spend time in the gym with random time on the clock in last shot drills.

    And, watching the crestfallen looks on the King’s bench was a classic moment. Casspri’s disgusted reaction shows what a fierce competitor he is. He will be a good pro for as long as his body allows him to be, because his spirit is there in a big way.

  38. Anybody have a close-up
    of Coach Paulie’s face
    during the last shot?

    Bro’ was beading on the Bean’s
    heels and the expression was
    precious.

    Replay showed him
    just walking off with the ultimate
    “What can you say?” attitude.

    Michael “New Year’s” Eaves
    spoke for me in the post-game
    interview– “Seriously, dude…?”

    And thank you Lamar for
    that drive to the rack.
    You could do that more often.
    Seriously, dude.

    Happy New Year, Lakerphiliacs.

    - 5 -

  39. Anyone else notice Fish being slowly phased out the past few games. His play has been nothing short of horrific. It’s one thing to not bring anything to the table, it’s another to actively knock things off the table.

    Wow.

    All the triangle point guard has to do is:

    1) Play reasonable defense

    2) Move the ball on offense and DON’T look for your shot.

    3) When you receive the kick-out for WIDE OPEN three pointer, make, at worst, 40% of them.

    4) Don’t turn the ball over

    So really, all that’s needed from the triangle point guard to win is the following line:

    2 for 5 shooting (all wide open kick outs), 2 or 3 assists, 2 or 3 rebounds, 1 or 2 steals, 0 turnovers.

    That’s not a sexy boxscore, but it’s a winning boxscore. That’s, LITERALLY, all that’s needed.

    How is it the Fish can’t

    A) Knock down even 40% of the WIDE OPEN jumpers he’s afforded.

    B) Understand that under no circumstances is he a primary option on offense?

    Obviously, the same can be said for Farmar. Even with mediocre to poor defense, all they really have to do is spot up on offense and knock down a little under half of the WIDE OPEN shots they’re afforded.

    How is that not possible for NBA player?

    Brian Shaw, Steve Kerr (over 50% from three one year), BJ Armstrong, and Derek Harper are the best examples of Triangle Point Guards.

    Fish made that list in 2001 (otherwise, he was basically a liability except for a few clutch shots that glossed over how bad he was, otherwise).

    Isn’t there anybody out there (or even on the team) who could handle the above job description?

  40. I kind of feel bad for the Kings for not securing 2 wins against the defending champions..? Nope. I take even greater pleasure from their failures.

    Anyways, let’s see where the Lakers stand after January is over. I remember last year we had an incredible road trip with victories in Boston and Cleveland. Anxious to see if we can do the same this year.

  41. I have to say this, the Kings are building something, and Westphaul is doing a really good job. How many teams have the off the ball movement and hustle of the Kings? They have some good pieces, they can trade Martin and get something they need back. Ways to go, but a good foundation to start with.

  42. These past few games must be Aaron’s dream come true ;) I mean, Fisher is being phased out, it seems :D

    And the clip is priceless thanks to the guy in the gray suit who glares at Kobe’s feet, as well as the security guy who has his back the whole time; dang, talk about professionalism ;)

    As for coveting others, I think ever since the Payton-Karl-Shaq-Kobe lineup, we simply know that anything is possible. And, to a lesser degree, that it is not always a good thing to have big names, but that’s an afterthought.

    But I do think that Kobe-Artest-Odom-Bynum-Gasol is pretty scary as it is, and in some ways even a bigger threat than the 4-HOF lineup.

  43. Let’s face it. The West is loaded both with very good teams, and solid teams that used to be patsies. Even Golden State isn’t a patsy when they’re at full strength, as the Suns, Celtics, and Lakers experienced in the past week. The only real patsy in the West is Minnesota.

    So, factor this in along with the fact that the Lakers will nearly always get the opponent’s best effort, and you’ll get “slumps” where the team goes 3-2 or 9-3. Yes, that’s the Laker won-loss record in the last five and twelve games, respectively. I’m including the 12-game record because that’s the game where Kobe fractured his finger, and the Lakers haven’t really looked the same since. It’s obvious to me that his finger is affecting his ballhandling more than his shooting, and since he’s such an integral part of the Laker offense, it’s affecting the crispness of the offense.

    Don’t get me wrong, Kobe with a fractured finger is still more effective than every player in the league except for Lebron. But his weakened ballhandling is leading to more turnovers (either committed by Kobe himself or someone later in the offensive sequence), which leads to more runouts for the opposition. Once his finger heals, the Laker offense will be more effective, allowing the guys to set up their defense and thus allow fewer confidence-inspiring transition buckets for the opponent.

  44. Kurt,

    I agree about the Kings. I tweeted about this earlier. Hawes is good on the offensive end, he just needs to learn to play D. Casspi has moxie and we all know Evans is a stud. Also, Jason Thompson has some potential too. Beno dribbles too much at times though. Rodriguez too.

  45. Celtics are missing three starters tonight. I’m just glad that we don’t have their problem right now. Furthermore, while Cleveland is playing well right now, I think the Lakers’ ceiling is much higher than theirs.

    I remember the Showtime Lakers needed a few clutch baskets from Kareem and Magic, too, during regular season even at home. Don’t you remember those “shot put” three pointers Magic hit at the Fabulous Forum? I do. Win is a win is a win in January, May, and especially in June.

    I can’t wait until our team starts fulfilling its potential, especially Bynum…

  46. Oh and Kobe when he shot that clutch three with a broken finger was spectacular! sorry kings fans but he Los Angeles Lakers own the western confrence . 15x NBA champs ! get at our level son!

  47. These are my top 5 favorite lakers
    1) Kobe Bryant (enough said no explaination). 2) Shannon Brown ( the kid dunks so well he literally glides)
    3) Andrew Bynum ( now remember he just turned 22 years old, this year he matures to the fullest. 4) Ron Artest ( every one loves Ron Ron and last but not least Jordan Farmar

  48. Kevin Ding brought up a great point: that was a pretty nice pass from Gasol. He had to lob it over the guy covering him (Udoka, who’s a pretty solid defender with long arms), out of reach of Sergio Rodriguez, in a place where Kobe could catch the ball, stay inbounds, set his feet, and release the ball comfortably, all in less than 3 seconds.

    Yea, it’s a shame that our defense isn’t playing up to snuff, but the fact that we made such a comeback is very telling of our coaching staff, halftime adjustments, and players implementing those changes on the court. Those are signs of a good team.

    Plus, if I had the choice, I’d rather the team played poorly in the 1st half than played poorly in the 2nd half.

  49. Harold (44),
    Is Fisher being slowly fazed out my dream? I have thought since the summertime Fisher would play himself out of the rotation by the all star break. This isn’t a dream for me… its just the obvious reality of the worst PG in the NBA fulfilling his destiny as a scrub and Phil’s realization of it. However… am I happy? Of course I am. I want what is best for the Lakers. The Lakers have three bad PG’s on their roster (Sasha, Brown, Farmar) who are all better than Derek Fisher in this offense.

  50. Aaron, point taken ;)

    As for the pass by Pau, it could go both ways. First I thought it was a bad pass saved by Kobe, then I thought it was a good pass because it ended up in Kobe’s mitts, and my final thought was, maybe that was like a good pass in soccer where you pass to space, not to the player.

    I’m still debating which it was, but in the end we can safely say that it was greatness in both Pau & Kobe’s part that the play worked. I am leaning more on it being a good play by Kobe though, if we’re comparing the two on that play ;)

  51. hi i’ve been a long time reader of this blog, and i was wondering if Luke Walton is going to get any playing time back? he was injured at the start of the season, but he looks fine now (hes coming into games dressed for one thing). I feel as though he could bring some pop back to the offense in the 2nd unit, he was always one of the best stabilizers out there , and right now the 2nd unit is struggling worse than ever (scored just 11 points last night). One thing i would like to mention, the 2nd unit is having huge problems running the triangle because they don’t have a legitimate creator past Kobe and Pau (who obviously cannot play so many minutes) Walton’s understanding of the triangle should bring back some flow.

  52. I really think the biggest need for this team is just another consistent shooter. That would help open up the spacing, making it easier for Pau, Bynum and LO. At the same time, Lakers always play better D and have better D balance when they have good O balance.

    They need someone who can come off the bench with some spot minutes and hit spot up 3′s at at least the mid 30′s to high 30′s percentage rate. I was hoping Ammo would do that but given all the burn that PJax has allocated to him, he hasn’t come through.

    Not sure if there’s a D league pickup they can find somewhere. At least to give a 10 day contract and trial. Given all the salary constraints, I really think that’s the only viable avenue. A cheap D league guy or unsigned vet. But there’s no unsigned shooter vet that’s viable. Forget finding a Kerr or Hodges equivalent, heck I’d be happy finding a George McCloud equivalent.

  53. J,

    There’s always Wally World, but I’m not sure whether he’s waiting for the final stretch as to not risk further injury.

  54. wtf! Raptors could not even beat the celtics without their 3 best players.

  55. I think it was an illegal screen when Kobe just ram into his defender lol.

  56. The Dude Abides January 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Actually, it looked to me like Kobe and Sergio were going in opposite directions on the final play, and just collided. Because Kobe weighs about 210 and Sergio clocks in at about 175, the latter was knocked backwards in the collision, then compounded the situation by an exaggerated flop in trying to get a foul called. Good no-call by the referees. Kobe then backpedaled into the open area, Pau hit him with the pass, Kobe stayed on his toes while catching the pass and thus stayed inbounds, then SWISH!

  57. I think it’s naive to think Phil is phasing Fish out.

    One thing we ca always count on Phil for is seeing the big picture and getting his teams to peak when it matters. What we’re seeing is Phil realizing that we *need* Farmar and/or Shannon to play well in order to repeat. Fish is Fish. Allowing all three to struggle helps no one. They all need to play with confidence, and letting the younger two get crunch time minutes allows them to get comfortable in their roles – and improve. Yet, it takes pressure off Fish, but makes him realize he has to play better.

    Sasha’s role has increased, and that has been no surprise. Phil started humbling him by taking him out of the rotation. Then he slowly gave him minutes. Then would take him out after Sasha did something well. Now he’s getting more minutes. I have no doubt we’ll have the Machine back before the end of the season, if not sooner. Phil knows Sasha’s role (and contract) are vital. Sasha has to play well. Phil will get him there. Just like he’ll get one more year out of Fish, and get Farmar and Shannon back on track.

    The man has 10 rings for a reason.

  58. How about Phil letting Sasha be the inbounder on the final play? That’s trust, right there.

  59. #59 is correct. In the process of flopping, Rodriquez lost his balance and almost fell. At the same time, to be fair, Kobe did push off with his right arm -after- the collision.

    #61, personally, I didn’t necessarily see it as a show of confidence. Sasha is a shooter, and he was used as decoy. Kobe’s screen on Sergio forced a switch, and Sergio’s ensuing stumble allowed Kobe to be wide open.

    It would have been interesting to see how Kobe would have gotten the ball had Rodriquez not stumbled. Maybe Kobe would have gotten to that spot, anyways, but with less space to shoot. With that said, a game winner 3-pointer is still much more interesting.

  60. 62. Right, and Kobe’s push-off was of the minor “clearing space” variety that happens countless times in every NBA game without being called. It just looked like a bigger pushoff because of the collision and then Sergio’s flopperooski.

  61. Impressive that Kobe went for the three instead of a potentially game-tying 2 pt shot that might have been easier to knock down.

  62. You know LO also had a good game in my opinion, he did just what we needed of him it seemed like. I have not seen the box score, for what it’s worth, but I just remember him having a good night. Then Kobe’s buzzer beater to win it at the end was just right.

  63. From Kobe’s position he couldn’t have moved into take a 2ptr without using up all the clock. He had to shoot a 3 to get it off in time.

  64. 64, plus, he remembered PJ’s joke about him wasting everyone’s time (by missing the game winner in regulation) on his last buzzer beater…

  65. Kurt @25

    My point is that when the bench was at its best, it did not run the triangle. It was fastbreak team with Lamar, Radmanovic (or Sasha), Farmar, Ariza, and Ronny. They ran the opponents second squad of the floors on most nights.

    Nate would satisfy that need for the Lakers bench. A scorer they desperately need. I don’t covet anyone, I just realize that the second team should have its own personality and if New York doesn’t want him, we should take him.

  66. leesha @ 20

    True. Good point. Da’toni did come into the whole thing bragging about what HE had done in Phoenix and how the Knick players had to buy into his way. Well if you don’t have the pieces you won’t get the same results. I agree he’s a jerk what can I say. His argument is they went 9-6 without Nate and played better as a team.

    Lee thought he could get money that is just not out there for his type of workman player. Da’toni wants Amare, Lee is no Amare.

  67. 64, after the game, Kobe said PJ called a 3.

    Speaking of Phil: “There’s a number of checks they go through with concussions, like speech patterns. But with Ron, that doesn’t work.”

    lol

  68. Nice inbound and cut by Sasha, to set up the switch.

    Euroball at its worst by Sergio. You’ll never get that call, and now you take yourself out of the play by flopping?

    Good patience and presence of mind from Pau. But the pass overled Kobe, who made the left-handed snag look routine.

    Kobe’s gather,launch and follow-through…was that not beauty? How can he summon such grace in such a time-stressed moment? No wonder the shot was all net–his form was perfect.

  69. speaking of Sasha, the NYT crossword puzzle on 12/31/09 has this clue:

    “Vujavic of Lakers whose nickname is the Machine.” No mention of Maria :)

  70. 68. A running game starts with good defense, Nate is a bad defender. He runs but in an out of control way. And, when the running game isn’t there they still have to run the offense, and with the current lineup meaning a big (Bynum/Gasol) is almost always out there they don’t run as much. Look, the Knicks suck and D’Antoni is a pragmatist — he plays who wins. The Knicks benched Nate and they went 9-6. He made himself a distraction. I just don’t see him as a good fit. And, by definition, if you want him on the Lakers you covet him.

  71. The past two times Kobe hit a game winner our momentum carried over to the next game for commanding wins. Check it out…
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/schedule?team=lal

  72. Fisher-Bryant-Artest-Odom-Bynum 229.3
    Fisher-Bryant-Artest-Odom-Gasol 103.7

    Is there a reason why PJ hasn’t gone to the Odom-Gasol line up more? Those are minutes, by the way. Phil has played Odom and Bynum together more than twice the minutes of Odom and Gasol.

    And what’s the expected return date of Luke?

  73. 75- Gasol missed weeks with an injury.

  74. #73
    Kurt

    You missed it again. It is not about defense, its about a scorer on the second squad. One who can attack the basket, shoot from outside, take people off the dribble and kick the ball out to open players. He would not be starting therefore he would not be playing with Bynum and Gasol.

    If you remember correctly, when the Lakers had Ariza, Turiaf, Radmanovic, Farmar and Sasha, PJ would start the entire second team at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters and gave the starters a rest.

    Do you think that Nate can offensively handle a game? He may be ragged, but so was Kobe at one time. Nate is an offensive juggernaut, like Kobe, but without Kobe’s defense. I’m just commenting on what I see. If you don’t believe me, question Kobe for saying “I really like Nate’s game” after a game against New York last year.

    I do not covet him (desire him inordenately), I said he would solve our offensive struggles on the second squad. Be careful, words are powerful.

  75. Busboy, I don’t think I missed the point at all. With a full compliment of bigs, Jackson is not going to go back to a “second unit only” mentality of five guys playing together. We saw it for one stretch two years ago, but never since, and even then there was overlap and changes come the playoffs. So to think of the second unit as its own, distinct unit is a mistake in my mind.

    Second, Nate is wild and out of control, and he does not finish well at the rim (52.9% this season). What he can do well now is shoot from the midrange and he passes well, both things that could work in the Lakers system. Except he does not play well within any system, he likes to break out of it, so much so that he got benched on a run-and-gun team. And he is nowhere near Kobe on offense — Nate had four years of college and has been a pro for a few now, he is not growing and maturing and bringing new things to his game. Pretty much, what you see is what you get. Comparing him to Kobe on offense is a huge mistake, because Kobe always had a more diverse game. Nate is more Iverson than Kobe in style, and while that brings you points it does not bring you team play. All of this is to say, in my mind he does not solve our offensive woes with the second unit. Certainly not more than a healthy Artest and Walton would.

  76. I’m with Kurt here. The bottom line is, Nate Robinson would need a Kobe-esque ‘green light’ in order to feel comfortable – and he is far from Kobe-esque. He is nowhere near consistent enough to be called an ‘offensive juggernaut’.

    I watched that Knicks-Hawks game. Robinson took a lot of questionable shots and often dribbled the air out of the ball. It worked out because the shots were going in and the Hawks did a poor job didn’t do a particularly good job helping when he penetrated. On other nights, he’ll either keep both teams in the game or shoot his own team out of it.

  77. 78 Kurt

    You are probably right about PJ not going to the all inclusive second squad anymore. No reason to with the full compliment of players other than to save the strength of an already short team (the only have 13 and two of them are injured so we have an 11 man team of which 10 play – Mbenga odd man out).

    Yes Nate is closer to AI than Kobe. I was not speaking of today’s Kobe I was speaking early Kobe (before he became the most polished player in the league). Nate will never be Kobe. Plus he has never had a coach like Phil. NY is a wild team with no structure. Given structure, he may respond. As I said before, Kobe did. Phil and D Fish still real him in sometimes, right?

  78. Guys there is only one Kobe. I am talking about an addition to the second squad. That’s it. If Nate’s shot is off or he does not abide by PJ’s rules, he sits. If he causes a rift, he gets cut. What did they do with JR Rider and Rodman? It’s not that serious. Farmar is not coming back next year. We don’t want (or need) Morrison. So what do we lose by taking a chance?

    How long do you guys feel Kobe is going to maintain this level of excellence? He needs help. Someone else who can score so he can rest. His body is getting beat up. He has played in playoffs after playoffs for 13 plus years. Add into the equation Olympics and World Championhips and you see the man has done alot. I love Kobe’s game but I know that no-one beats father time. Everyone declines and then loses it. EVERYONE PERIOD!!!

  79. To Luubi people like you are a trip. So what if he misses shots in the last 5 minutes you and your ESPN clowns with STATS. Your boy Lebron has ONE, I repeat 1, UNO game winner. It’s basketball everyone misses. It is never about what you miss but the final score and last I checked LAKERS WON!!!! :)