Around the World (Wide Web): Kobe as an under-shooter?

Phillip Barnett —  March 8, 2011

From Devin Kharpertian, TrueHoop: What’s also notable is that the undershooters “undershot” almost twice as much as the overshooters “overshot.” But the most surprising revelation had to be Goldman’s figures on Kobe Bryant, which found that he slightly leaned towards the side of undershooting. I don’t think anyone in NBA history has accused Kobe of undershooting before (the second half of Game 7 in the 2006 Western Conference first-round exit excluded), but Goldman stood by his formula. Goldman explains by e-mail that injury concerns could be a factor: “Kobe’s undershooting t-statistic is 2.3. This means he undershoots in a very statistically significant way, but not quite on the order of LeBron/CP3/Roy. As a nice counterbalance, Pau Gasol has an undershooting t-stat of 2.83 and as such his undershooting behavior is more statistically significant that Kobe’s…

From Dave McMenamin, ESPNLA: If the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, they’ll run their current winning streak to eight games, matching the longest win streak they’ve had since starting the season off 8-0. While the Lakers haven’t made any drastic trades in the time from October to March and wear the same familiar purple and gold jerseys, the win streaks are hardly matching bookends. The difference is Andrew Bynum, who missed the first 24 games of the year while recovering from offseason knee surgery and the revamped team defense that his presence in the lineup allows the Lakers to play.

From Eric Stephen, SB Nation: The Los Angeles Lakers look to extend their winning streak to eight games tonight in Atlanta facing the Hawks, a team that has won just four of its last 12 games. Kobe Bryant is closing in on another milestone, just 12 points shy of Moses Malone for sixth place on the NBA all-time scoring list. To pass Moses, Kobe needs 13 points against the Hawks, a number he has reached in 62 of 64 games this season. Bryant began the season in 12th place on the all-time list, but has passed four legends this season. Kobe passed former Celtic John Havlicek on December 10, passed Dominique Wilkins on January 4, passed Oscar Robertson on January 7, passed Hakeem Olajuwon on January 28, and passed Elvin Hayes on February 27:

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Derek Fisher sits in an almost-empty restaurant on a midweek morning in Cleveland that defines silence, save for the hushed conversation at a nearby table and the occasional clink of dishes behind a closed door. He seems to savor it as he sips his coffee. There will be little downtime for him in coming months. After the Lakers’ playoff push ends, Fisher transitions from 13 teammates to about 420. As president of the NBA Players’ Assn, he’ll be on the front line during negotiations on a new labor contract, with the very real possibility of an owners’ lockout that could stall the sport before it typically starts up again in October. Pro basketball might be paralyzed for an entire season.

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Reporting from Atlanta Pau Gasol remembers all the questions about his tired legs. He used to field them every day. He logged almost 40 minutes a game while Andrew Bynum was sidelined by a knee injury, and it began to show when he shot 49% in December. Some teammates privately wondered why he looked so fatigued after taking off the entire summer. “Internally, some of the stuff was that Pau’s not living up to his potential, he’s not playing hard enough,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Monday. “I didn’t like that because I knew exactly what he was going through as far as the process of playing minutes and wearing himself out, muscling down there with the big guys.”

From Elliot Teaford, LA Daily News: They made a few subtle tweaks to their defensive philosophy several months ago, and after a few trials and tribulations, the Lakers are reaping the benefits in the form of a seven-game winning streak. Andrew Bynum stands at the center of the turnaround. “There’s no question he’s the captain of the defense,” assistant coach Chuck Person said Monday. “Everything is in front of him. He sees it. We’ve got to get him to talk a little bit more. He’s quiet by nature, so we’ve got to get him to be more vocal. … Andrew fits the mold as a perfect guy to anchor the defense.” Bynum stands 7-foot and weighs 285 pounds, which makes him ideally suited to act as the protector of the basket, but there’s more to his recent success in a defensive scheme that is designed to usher driving opponents toward him in the paint.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: With the Lakers’ adjusted defensive scheme paying the dividends already that the coaches hoped for by playoff time, Phil Jackson offered a clearer picture Monday of what is different in the new defense that showcases Andrew Bynum as the defensive stopper and prime rebounder. For one thing, Jackson sees the Zen angle in which the stale and long regular season has been spiced up by the Lakers having something new to digest. “That has given us really a second wind,” Jackson said. “As far as the team goes, they’re learning — and because they’re learning, they have kind of a learner’s mentality (and) beginner’s mind, which is really important.”

From Ken Sugiura, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: After losing two games in a row, Hawks coach Larry Drew assured the team on Monday that it was no time to panic. He also said the Hawks needed to play better in transition and not settle for jump shots. This might sound familiar. After narrowly beating Minnesota on Nov. 14, center Al Horford noted the team was a little careless with the basketball and “not necessarily running our offense like we should have.” After losing to New Jersey Dec. 19, Drew said shot selection “was a little bit questionable at times.” After losing to Milwaukee Jan. 26, Drew confessed, “It was not a good display of shot selection, which we talk about over and over, especially on the road.”

Phillip Barnett

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13 responses to Around the World (Wide Web): Kobe as an under-shooter?

  1. I wonder who would be voted as “Most Respected” active player in the league?

    I would bet that it is Derek Fisher.

    Fisher has a quiet, calm demeanor, but has that wicked killer streak. He is tough, focused, works hard, and has what is politely described as a fearless, joyous, and intense sense of competition.

    He is well known as a dedicated family man, a mentor, a “coach on the floor”, and he also passionately and professionally represents his peers in their union, and to their benefit.

    A lot is made about him being, “The worst point guard in the league”, but I really think that is a pernicious delusion. It might be true from a strictly statistical point of view. However, Fisher virtually embodies why statistics must be only a part of the picture, and not the overall picture in and of themselves.

    We all know about the greatness of Kobe, but I think that from time to time we would be well served, as fans, to appreciate the greatness of Derek Fisher.

    Pau Gasol was certainly a huge factor in the Lakers recent championship run, but Fisher was also a huge factor, returning to team to start the 2007-2008 season.

    This is a remarkably small window of time, 15 seasons, with perhaps only a few remaining, when we are incredibly spoiled with the quality of our guards.

    I truly enjoy this team.

  2. The last thread about Steve Blake only emphasizes your point 3ThreeIII.

    We fans evaluate players by the points they score and when they score them. Only one player-at-a-time can score baskets. The remaining four players frequently contribute something to that basket. The only possible reward for them is that we sometimes award one of them an assist. When someone sets a screen, runs through a screen, blocks out, or simply contains a player who would otherwise have an impact on preventing a play we hardly notice – unless a foul is called.

    This is the team game of basketball and it is about so much more than just who scores. Yes, we keep score to see who won, but no one person – see Wilt Chamberlain or Michael Jordan – can win games by themselves. Even Wilt’s 100 point game required his teammates to block out, set screens, pass him the ball and otherwise help the team win.

    Most of the players understand this, but we fans frequently identify a team by the statistics of each player individually. That is where all the ‘hate’ for Fisher came from. It certainly didn’t come from his teammates or, for that matter, from former teammates who have nothing to lose by making comments.

  3. these news that bynum has become the defensive anchor are really good news. However, what i dont understand is why cant andrew bynum get the ball on low block to score some points.After kobe and pau who is a better offensive option it cant possible be chucking 3 pointers from brown blake or artest?

  4. Very happy about Drew buying into his role. Lakers will be tough to score on if he continues to play like this.

  5. By that headline you would think that today is April the 1st. I had to get out the calendar and make sure I hadnt slept a whole month away.

  6. daniel, i think one reason the offense isn’t run through bynum is opponents are comfortable defending him one-on-one, which kind of stagnates the offense.

    i think 3pt attempts from up top put guards in a position to better defend in transition.

    on the other hand, 3pt attempts from the corners and sideline make it more difficult to defend in transition.

    3 From Behind the Key > Bynum post-up > Sideline/Corner 3s

  7. I wonder if Fisher’s instrumental role with the NBA Players union, coupled with the last three years of being in the playoff grind are wearing him down. Obviously, there is a lot at stake for the NBA players union this summer, and at a certain point, one has to wonder how much mental bandwidth Fisher can possess. Though I am loathed to ask, but what takes priority in his book: being president of the union or business on the court?

    Knowing about Fisher’s integrity, I strongly assume it’s the latter, but it just makes me wonder if he is being stretched too thin. Once half the league is out by playoff time, his phone will be ringing off the hook when all he should be concerned about is the playoff run. Just some food for thought.

  8. 1, Luis Scola would disagree with you.

  9. I know it’s an early start for the Hawks game this afternoon but the recap will be posted a bit later than normal. Just a heads up, there.

  10. Zephid, I would honestly be surprised if Scola did not respect Fisher. He might not LIKE him, but he almost certainly respects him.

    Hard not to respect a guy that played tough (maybe a little dirty) and knocked you on your ass to protect his teammates and send a message to, well, anyone who was paying attention.

    In my mind there is no question: That was THE moment the Lakers woke up in those playoffs and started their march to the championship.

  11. Late to the party, but wanted to add to the Steve Blake discussion.

    The Steve Blake question reminds me of that saying about missing the forest and seeing only individual trees or however that goes. It’s about the big picture.

    I agree with Craig and those who feel that Steve is an addition by subtraction and those who think of him as Fish 2.0. He’s “Mr. Intangible” of the bench. He limits bone headed plays. Usually after a game, win or lose, I’m of the opinion that either Steve had a decent game by his standards or he just kinda disappeared. In games where Farmar played, I often remember getting upset and yelling at him for shooting too much, being a ball hog who played outside the offense, turnovers, and boneheaded moves. I don’t have those moments of anger with Steve.

    Farmar’s attitude and stubbornness also didn’t help the bench and overall chemistry. Last season I thought the bench didn’t play or execute well because they didn’t play as a team. It seems as if they were always trying to compete or outdo each other (Sasha, Farmar and Brown). Steve is a major improvement on team/bench chemistry and team building which is essential for any contender. Steve’s team oriented plays allows the triangle to function and others guys the opportunity to gain more experience in it = addition/improvement and overall team growth. Farmar ran the bench like it was a group of individual talents who were out to get theirs = subtraction/bad habits/regression of talents and team.

    Steve doesn’t really hurt the team, he’s just not contributing as much as we all “expected” or “hoped” in terms of statistical production, but he contributes a lot in the more intangible sense.

  12. Also with regards to our “expectations” of Steve and the pg position, we complain about the bigs not getting enough shots and about the pecking order of things and then we want the 9th guy on the rotation list to get more shots/usage? Granted of the shots that Steve gets it would be nice if he made more of them. Steve not shooting well may have to do with just not being in the flow due to the limited number of shots he takes. Shooters do go cold and have down years. I’ll let him pass and hope that he shoots better next game (or season). I rather him be a 9th usage guy than have him take away from Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Fish, Brown, Barnes, Artest….(in that order or maybe Blake over Artest).

    Last year we wanted to sign a pg who would fit the triangle (pass more, better passes into the post, spot up 3 shooter and plays defense). Mitch signs Blake who fits pretty much that description. He’s not shooting so well this season but that happens to every player at some point. Then we complain that he’s not more like all the other traditional pg’s, not athletic enough, doesn’t shoot enough, doesn’t drive into the post enough, etc. We had someone like that before. He didn’t work out. His name is Farmar. We let him walk. We’ll never be satisfied unless we have CP3, Kobe, LeCrybaby, Pau, and Howard with a bench of DWillWade, Melo, Dirk, Duncan. Even then we would probably complain about something like trading DWill for Rose or “softie” Pau for Griffin.