It Was The Worst Of Times, It Was The Best Of Times

Darius Soriano —  March 31, 2012

Going into the 4th quarter, Kobe Bryant had zero points and was 0 for 15 from the field (making it the most shots he’d missed in a row in any game during his career). In the final frame, however, he went 3-6 scoring 11 points and hitting what would be the game winning shot on a pull up three pointer. We’ll have a full write up of the game a bit later but for now enjoy the shot no one (including me) thought he should take, much less thought he’d actually make. This is why he’s Kobe Bryant, though. He does what he wants and, for worse or, in this case, for the better he’s willing to take the big shots. Today it worked out and it brought us all a smile on what was, to that point, a horrid day of Lakers basketball. Enjoy the clip below as it was one of the only good things from this game.

Darius Soriano

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41 responses to It Was The Worst Of Times, It Was The Best Of Times

  1. from other thread

    i think that we should not expect a title this year because even management dont. If Buss et al wanted us to go on another title run they would have kept the triangle, kept Odom, hired Brian Shaw and tinkered around the edges. It was clear that with the hiring of Brown and attempted Paul trade that they wanted to completly change the makeup of the team without tanking which i expect to continue in the summer with the trading of Pau. They must have know that it would take more than a shortened year to do so and thus dont expect Buss to consider this year a faliure if we dont win

  2. James: The problem is that the FO did not do “everything” they could to win this year – IMO – Darius : ) We did not use the TPEs, after dumping LO’s salary, + we did not re-sign Shannon. If we had done this as a “plan” as you are stating, then we did not do that well either. You can consiously position yourself like Cuban is doing. We clearly did not do that, as we traded our picks, + we are old and expensive.

    So we are in no-man’s land. In other words = “6th” best.

  3. In any case – we are 1-0 towards the 6-1 run we are going on.

    That is my story and I am sticking to it : )

  4. Before the game, Bryant met with Lakers fan Allene Wynn of suburban Pacoima, fulfilling the 104-year-old woman’s wish. She attended as a guest of the team and pulled no punches with Bryant, telling him, “You need to play better.”

    So…I vote she’s not allowed to talk to Kobe anymore.

  5. 2. I didnt say it was a “good” plan, just that it is a plan or sorts! One built around Bynum, Paul – Now Sessions, Kobe and a more traditional offense

  6. It’s all about moral boosting, wins and confidence. Lakers need all 3 right now.

  7. as tweeted by Eric Pincus, there are only 5 teams better than us this year and they all have continuity from the season before. So we should expect better things next season from what is already a decent season. Brown should have found a way to save Kobe some minutes but otherwise im going to reserve judgement until next year

  8. Wow, that was horrible, plain & simple. While I can feel good “escaping” with a win vs the Heat or Thunder, I don’t feel like that vs the last place, injury riddled Hornets. Folks can spin it any way you want…but that was bad ball.

    Obviously there will be a lot of talk about Kobe’s shooting :-(, but I ask you not to forget, Kobe had 5 assist pretty early in the 1st quarter. A time when the Lakers were up by double figures and part of the reason the Lakers 1st 13 of so baskets came on 13 assist.

    Unfortunately Kobe finished the game with those same 5 assist., Not only going cold as a shooter, but also as a set up man.

  9. James: Not picking on you, but rather – the “plan” (Or lack thereof). We needed to either go for the title (all out) while KB is playing, or we need to re-build. We seemingly did neither. The Mavs + Celts will finish in a similar bracket in the reg season that we will + they will be in much better shape in the off-season.
    I like your optimism for next yr, but we have no ability to sign FA and we will be older. However we are fans so we root – what else can we do? : )

  10. Same spot on the floor. 3 minute mark of attached.

    He Rules !!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM4zS6IX1Ug

  11. 8. Complete rebuilding is still possible in 2014 when all contracts are off the books or even next year if, dare I say it, we amnesty Kobe

  12. James, I agree the idea that the Lakers’ have been affected by the strike shortened season more than the teams ranked ahead of them, in large part because of those teams’ continuity.

    However, lack of continuity from last year is not why the Lakers aren’t as good as the Thunder, Heat, or Bulls. All of those teams are younger, faster, deeper, and better coached than the Lakers.

    While this core might be better with continuity, they’ll also get worse with another year on the odometer–particularly Kobe & Pau. I don’t see much reason for optimism about next year barring a pretty significant talent upgrade.

  13. Lakers can’t keep giving up these all star games to nobodys. Jason Smith had 17-10. Hornets had 17 off. rebounds Bynum in no way can be considered elite if when he’s manning the paint Lakers consistently give up 10+ offensive rebounds a game. He often gets worked on defense with his size that’s not good.

  14. Did MB seriously insert Blake for defense for the last shot? WTF?!

    Jarret Jack had a scary easy shot that he fortuantely missed. They were attacking Blake all night. D-leaguers salivate at a shot to iso him.

    Just wow, MB

  15. I refuse to call Bynum elite until he defends.

    J. Smith avg 9-4.. vs Bynum 17-10

    Perkins avg 4-6.. vs Bynum 12-8-4 Off. rebs

    Haddadi avg. 2-2.. vs Bynum 5-7- 3 0ff. rebs

    Mahimi avg 6-4.. vs Bynum 8-7- 3 off. rebs

    Serafin avg 5-4.. vs Bynum 14-9-4 off. rebs

  16. Kevin,
    I read you on here occasionally. I know you are smarter than that. Cause and effect. The majority of those points come when Bynum helps out on penetration. You need to help the helper. Based on statistics not many players on the other team get rebounds or points when Bynum is around. How many points on how many shots did All Star Center Marc Gasol get against Bynum one on one? Marc is shooting below 36 percent against Bynum this year. An All Star Center. Marc is pretty good offensively. But you need to be better than pretty good to score against Drew.

  17. Aaron: KG and Duncan are better defensive player than Bynum right now and he shouldn’t be.

    Want the numbers for Lakers defense particularly paint points and off. rebounds? 40 paint points, 49 rebounds 12 offensive. Can’t defend that

  18. I’m sure we’re only privy to what the media decides to share with us, but post game comments from Bynum today are showing a pattern regarding what his attitude has been like since the All Star Break…

    “I don’t take part in Huddles.”

    Reason: “No, I’m resting… getting my zen on.”

    I have no clue what’s going on in that locker room, but I’m not comfortable with that. I’d rather he be: I need more shots (which we all here agree he should get).

    Wouldn’t be a Laker year without the drama…

    Remember that one year we didn’t have drama? Sedale Threatt was the starting point guard, Vlade at Center, Elden at the 4, Cedric at the 3 and Peeler at the 2… man they were a bad team. :)

  19. I don’t post here much, but I do read regularly. One thing really has me bothered this year, which I haven’t seen discussed in detail: the Lakers seem to be consistently outplayed at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Is this statistically true, or is it just my vague (and incorrect) impression? If it is true, I assume this is solely a function of coaching and adjustments? Any comments? Sorry if I missed a thread on this. Thanks!

  20. just read more of the article, and when asked why he didnt shoot more in the first half, he said,. “Man, that’s a great question! I need some more shots I think.”

    sigh. Passive aggressive always works.

    And before Aaron jumps on my throat for saying something even possibly bad about his boy Bynum, i thought he played really well today. he was doubled and tripled team in the post all night and while I wish he would make the outside pass faster, that’s just me being nitpicky.

    Really, Lakers fell into the same thing as they did against OKC. Ran a movement offense in the first quarter that got them a double digit lead, and then went away from it. Kobe going 3 – 20 (0-fer in the first 3 quarters) really took away from the offense, but was lacking was the defense again. I see no scheme. Even the big man hard hedge on pick and rolls was gone in favor of switches which allowed Jack to go off there in the 4th quarter.

    So if I were a person with access to MB, that’s the question… what is the defensive identity? where does it start? And what happened with the defense that was ranked in the top ten before the all star break? Because it cannot be all on Sessions…

  21. Funky: You are of course correct, + I am not sure where we can get a talent upgrade, when with just KB, Pau, + AB, we will already be way over the cap. Then RS is going to expect to be overpaid.
    Aaron: AB is your guy, like KB is my guy. However you stating that AB is that good on D would be like me stating that KB has a great shooting % : )

  22. Kevin,

    You are right Bynum needs to pick it up on defense. Especially rebounding. Centers are posting great numbers against him.

    You don’t have to call Bynum elite … facts are besides Dwight Howard — maybe — who is a better center in the NBA?

    Yes, Bynum can improve and be consistently totally dominant.

    But who can guard Andrew Bynum on San Antonio or OKC?

    Nobody.

    When Bynum gets ball in the post its a problem.

  23. Kevin,
    Wow. You just publiclally said that. Everyone on the Internet now thinks you beleieve Andrew Bynum (defensive 2nd team) is a worse defender than two guys that can barley move. I mean you just saw KG get dominated by Bynum on both ends of the floor. And the last few years Duncan suffered the same fate against Drew.

  24. Hard to give Kobe credit fir hitting that one shot.

    If he just shoots 40% they win by 10.

    As for Andrew he has slipped to a below average defensive center and as was pointed out opposing center keep having career games aganist him.

    Who us our big man coach. Perhaps Rambas should be brought back.

  25. Aaron: Noah is 2nd team defense C. Chandler is 3rd. Bynum isn’t in their league as far as defense. No doubting Bynum’s offense but his defense is bad.

    Treylake: Cousins and Monroe are not far behind Drew. Neither is Noah, Jefferson, Hibbert, Marc, or Horford. Those players don’t have the luxury of playing next to 2 all stars.

    For what they’ve done in their careers individually you can say Jefferson, Noah, Horford, Bynum are all on the same level.

  26. Kevin,

    Young ones you mention are comers – and Cousins is the brightest light of the bunch. However, even his upside is below Bynum’s upside.

    Noah is too limited on offense.
    Monroe is a power forward.

    Potential Bynum equal?

    Greg Oden

  27. Treylake: I think the Bynum we see is the one he’s likely to be for the duration of his career. I don’t think he is far away the 2nd best center in the league. Drew is very good and needed for this team’s success. But individually Jefferson, Horford, Noah have had better careers than Drew.

  28. After years of watching Kobe play, you still questioning his ability to win?. He is going to take shots even if he is 0-10, 1-20,3-20 FGs. That made Kobe difference from some other starts like LBJ, Wade, DRose blah blah blah. Even Durant and Ray Allen take shots even they are missing. They are still deadly even they have not taken a shot in a game. Look Durant on last nights game. He still shoots even though he is 5-16 on the 1st half. Those are great players and Kobe have proven that he can still be the greatest closer even if he has low % of FGs.

  29. At 28, if Kobe made a few more passes to the big guys, maybe his “heroics” wouldn’t be needed at the end of this game.
    For all you guys down on Bynum, regardless of how you rank or consider him, every single team in the NBA except the one with Dwight, would trade their center for him, straight up, today, all things considered. That’s 29 of 30 teams people. Who else on the Lakers can you say that about?

    Don’t be so quick to say Kobe, whose age, contract, & “I eat first” attitude would make more than a few teams say no thanks.

  30. For everyone going up against Kevin regarding his Bynum analysis.

    First, not once had Kevin said he wants to trade Bynum. He is making comments on his observations that he sees. I am 100% sure that Kevin would not want to trade Bynum for any other center (save for Dwight).

    Second, Kobe, Bynum, and Pau should all be held accountable for what they do. We held Fisher accountable, we hold Blake accountable now, and we go for MB’s throat for every loss and every 15 point lead we lose. Everyone should be open to the discussion.

    There’s nothing wrong with what Kevin has said. Bynum has been slacking lately on Defense. He never once said that Bynum isn’t an amazing offensive Center. He gave statistics to try and prove his point. Disagree with him, but back it up. So we can all look at the stats you show and decide for ourselves.

  31. Quick note: I just watched all of Jason Smith’s shots and only two of his made baskets came with Bynum “guarding” him. One was when Pau was on Smith and after a P&R, Bynum rotated to Smith who hit a pull up jumper before Bynum could contest the shot and on the other play, Bynum had rotated to contest a penetrating guard and Smith cut to the basket and got a lay up that got altered by Bynum when he reacted to the cut and challenged the shot from behind. The other baskets came against McRoberts for the most part and against Gasol. Just thought I’d point this out since Smith’s numbers are being used as a reason that Bynum doesn’t play good defense.

    As an aside, per Synergy, the man that Bynum’s guarding shoots 39% across all shot types. On post plays his man shoots 39% and in isolation situations his man shoots 34%. To claim that Bynum’s not a good defender seems based off the eye test rather than what the numbers actually say.

  32. @ vhanz (28), in case you forgot, the Lakers were up big early in the game, by about 14 points. Kobe had 5 assist. Along w/ Session who also had 5 assist, the Lakers 1st 14 or 15 baskets were all scored off assist.

    Maybe if Kobe would have finished with one or two more assist (he finished w/ 5, same amount he had in the 1st quarter) or even a few more passes to his bigs, maybe, just maybe his “heroics” wouldn’t have been needed tonight…vs the injury riddled worst team in West.

  33. Kobe is Kobe.

    He’s not going to change, not unless he really sees the writing on the wall, and for better or worse this season isn’t the season that will tell Kobe that he doesn’t have it anymore.

    But really, if you think Bynum and Pau can lead us to championships, you are badly mistaken.

    Bynum is still immature and while matching Shaq in his relatively care-free approach to the games, is nowhere near Shaq in terms of talent and skill. And we all know that Shaq didn’t come close to winning it all without an elite wingman, which we won’t have once we’re without Kobe.

    Pau, though improved since his years at Memphis, is not made of the stuff that makes franchise players. He is a very good No2 and overly superlative No3, and while that is great, it’s not going to win us a championship.

    Now I’m not saying that both are easier to replace than Kobe nor that they’re not as important – just that we’ll be no closer to the championship even, god forbid, we amnesty Kobe.

  34. When you have three guys scoring 65 a game yet you seldom break 100 points you either have bad personel or bad coaching.

    Take your chose.

  35. Thanks Darius. That’s the kind of stats I was hoping for.

    Any place I can check to see his rebounding numbers pre/post all star break without having to do it myself?

  36. Darius: I try to combine numbers along with what I see to make opinions. Pau is at 36% but from watching the film with blow by and easy layups he gives up those numbers are a bit deceiving. Opponents get 26% off. rebound rate. 1 out of every 4 shots they take they get an offensive rebound against Lakers.

    I consistently see Drew’s man beat him. And he isn’t controlling the paint like defensive centers do. Didn’t re watch the game today but there’s no denying Drew’s numbers don’t reflect what Lakers fans see on a game to game basis.

  37. Ken – To answer your question, I believe Ettore Messina works primarily with the big men. That’s relative, because Mike Brown has said he wants his assistants to share in all the duties and he hasn’t specialized so much like Phil did in his later years with Rambis.

  38. When does Andrews Man consistently beat him? Am I missing something here? About the only time Drew’s man scores is when he leaves him to help. What you are commenting on is poor defensive rotations when Drew helps.

  39. Just curious:

    1) Is Kurt Rambis available?

    Sorry to bring this up but Blake, McBob, Barnes, Gasol and Bynum is not a good rotation…

    No GLock? Murphy got some mins against OKC but no mins tonight?

    Go figure…

  40. michaelh: My overall point is Drew doesn’t control the paint. Jack had a gw layup today and Drew was nowhere to be found. Kobe gets beat on the perimeter a lot so those blow bys aren’t his fault. When your a good defensive center you don’t give up 4th qtr offensive rebounds every game and 2nd chance points.

    Individually w/o re watching every game you aren’t sure who scores the most on who Darius facts backed that up today. Lakers frontcourt aren’t controlling the paint and getting out hustled late in games that starts and ends with Drew. Lakers have lost 4 winnable games this month because of off. rebounds when Drew was on the court.