Um, maybe that Kobe guy is pretty good. Some random thoughts on that and more from last night.
â€¢ Apparently, ESPN.comâ€™s Scoop Jackson or his editor did not get the Colin Cowherd memo. Scoopâ€™s column yesterday was written from the perspective of the new NBA basketball, even calling it the â€œOrange Roundie.â€ A clever idea â€” except that The Cavalier at yaysports.com has been doing that same thing all season, complete with calling it the Orange Roundie. Understandably the Cavalier was pissed.
Scoopâ€™s original column had the ball saying he heard he was called orange roundie by â€œa website.â€ After NBA bloggers who got up earlier than I pounded the issue this morning, there is now credit to YAY sports, but still no link. The best wrap-up on everything so far is Willâ€™s post at Deadspin, which includes a response from Scoop saying he had a link and more in but his editors took it out. Maybe thatâ€™s true.
Whoever did it, what galls me is that the rules of common courtesy in blogs and online are pretty simple â€” I donâ€™t care who re-posts my stuff (not that anyone really wants to); just give me credit and a link. Donâ€™t pretend itâ€™s your own. Pretty much every blogger Iâ€™ve talked to â€” political, sports, lifestyle, arts, whatever â€” feels the same way. Itâ€™s simple common sense, your mom should have taught you go give credit where credit is due, not to steal. Why is that so hard to learn?
â€¢ Enough ranting, letâ€™s talk hoops.
â€¢ Credit Jerry Sloan for being a man of his convictions â€” he was going to cover Kobe with one man and he stuck with that plan. And as that man was usually AK-47, itâ€™s not a bad plan. One problem: There are nights when Kobe, like no other playing today, can channel the basketball gods and become unstoppable. At that point, as a coach, you scrap plan â€œAâ€ and double him every time he gets near the ball. Some other Laker may beat you, but youâ€™ve got better odds that way than not adjusting your Kobe defense.
By the time Sloan changed strategies Kobe had drilled two long-range threes over the tall Russian, the third quarter was winding down, the Lakers were up 20 and the game was all but over.
â€¢ In case you missed it (and have ESPN Insider), David Thorpe had a great â€” and amazingly timely â€” breakdown of Kobeâ€™s game that went up on the site several hours before tip off.
What he talks a lot about (and weâ€™ve discussed here) is just how well rounded Kobeâ€™s game is â€” he can drain deep threes or post you up, can shoot well with either hand, attacks the rim and has a pull-up jumper. As we noted last year (thank you Synergy Sports), last year Kobe drove to his left 49% of the time and his right 51%. How do you defend a guy with no weakness to push him toward?
Well, you could double him and make him give up the ball. Nahâ€¦.
â€¢ Regular here Nate JONESONTHENBA was at the game last night and, apparently, is a kept man by a wealthy woman or lucked into great seats. Love to hear his thoughts.
By the way, he is now part of a new must-read NBA blog at AOL â€” the NBA Funhouse â€” with some of the best and most creative bloggers out there taking part JE Skeets, the guys from The Big Lead, plus many more). Congrats on that!!
â€¢ Kobeâ€™s stats (thanks to Rob L for firing those off to me not long after the game last night): a True Shooting Percentage of 79.8%, an offensive rating of 157 (if he had used 100 possessions he would have scored that much, instead he used just 25 possessions). He also was +23 for the night.
â€¢ It was Lamar Odom who led the Lakers in +/-, he was +30.
â€¢ Donâ€™t sleep on Maurice Evans, who had a nice game going 6 of 9 from the floor with 17 points. Also, Luke Walton had one of those great quietly efficient nights he seems to have every game now — 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting, but an offensive rating of 154 for the game.
â€¢ Utah has now lost three of four, and they didnâ€™t appear nearly as crisp on offense s they did last game. Iâ€™ll chalk that up to being the second game of a back-to-back, I still think they could be a real force this season.
â€¢ The Jazz still got 14 offensive boards, but had just 20 defensive ones â€” the Lakers shot 65.3% (eFG%) as a team, so there just werenâ€™t many missed shots to grab.