First things first, the latest Carnival of the NBA (now #20) is up over at Attack of the Supersonics (the blog with the best logo out there). This carnival is very well written, with lots of good links to click on as well.
As for FB&G, weâ€™re going to look mostly at the offense today, even though the defense has been the bigger problem the last couple of games (weâ€™ll get to that tomorrow, promise). But thatâ€™s not all â€” keep reading and Iâ€™ll throw in some other stuff, at no additional cost. The perfect holiday stocking stuffer.
â€¢ For the last two games, the rest of the Lakers â€” they guys other than Kobe and Lamar â€” have stepped up and made shots. Because of that Kobe has just started to adjust his game and needs to do more.
I have argued that Kobe was shooting so much because the rest of the team could not be trusted. Look at the eight games from Nov. 14 (Memphis) to the Utah game last Monday â€” Kobe took 36.7% of the Lakers shots and shot 41.3% (eFG%), throw in Lamar Odom and you get 48.5% the teamâ€™s shots and the pair shooting 42.2%. The rest of the team after those two fared no better, shooting an even 42%. What was Kobeâ€™s motivation to pass, the offense was just as good in his hands?
That changed dramatically in the last two games â€” outside of Kobe and Lamar the rest of the Lakers are shooting 60.2%. Through that Kobe has shot just 40.2% (the Bobcats were very quick with the double teams). add Lamar and it’s just 40.5%.
Together, Kobe and Lamar still took 44% of the Lakers shots in the last two games. They have to recognize when other players are hot and take advantage of that. They did to a degree last game, but Kobe still put up 30 shots and could have given it up quicker, particularly out of the doubles off the high pick and roll (the Bobcats went to trap Kobe with both players off the pick).
â€¢ Some other notes from shot charting the last few games:
Lamar Odom needs to drive to the hole â€” when he pulls up short and shoots in the paint his shooting percentage plummets to the low 20s, but when he goes for the layup/dunk he scores or is fouled on almost every attempt.
Kobeâ€™s midrange game still has not been what it was the first couple of weeks; he is shooting in the mid-30s percent wise. He takes nearly 50% of his midrange shots from the right of the key, but a vast majority of his threes from the left side. Not sure if thatâ€™s a personal preference or offensive design.
Smush is shooting the three ball well, and can penetrate to the basket, but his midrange game is still very weak.
Luke Walton, on the other hand, has clearly worked on his midrange and is shooting just over 50% â€” and he hits about 75% from straight on, above the free throw line.
Mihm doesnâ€™t go to the midrange game much, but what he does isnâ€™t bad (just under 50%).
â€¢ I’m curious what people think of the new broadcast team for the Lakers, so I put a poll up at the right. Let me know what the rest of you think.
â€¢ Weâ€™ll be wondering about all this stuff later, so let me tell you now: Larry Croonâ€™s great NBA Salary cap FAQ is now updated to include the new collective bargaining agreement.
â€¢ If youâ€™re a college football fan, you should be reading Every Day Should Be Saturday. Great site, very clever writing. My most recent favorite â€” 52 Reasons ESPN/ABC/Disney Sucks (this goes beyond just basketball, but they didnâ€™t even have to mention NBA Shootaround to get to 52, that could have been another 10 right there).
â€¢ If you have Sirius Satellite Radio, check out the new Phil Jackson show that starts Jan. 9. Iâ€™m not kidding. Iâ€™m curious to check it out, but not enough to fork over the cash for the system, especially since everyone will just assume Iâ€™m doing it to get Howard Stern.