It’s Good To Have Kobe On Your Team December 5, 2009 by Kurt Nothing more need be said. Previous PostNext Post
By the way, sorry I was not around the site during the Heat game. The long story short is some miscommunication left me without a press pass last minute. So rather than stay home and watch it while blogging, I did what I used to do pre blog/family and watched the game in my local favorite sports bar. And if there was a better, more entertaining game to watch that way, I can’t think of one.
But I sort of shirked my responsibilities here. Sorry. I’ll be around in the future.
Did anyone else have this running threw their head when that shot went up?
dangit were done, I can’t believe we..OMG OMG IT WENT IN HOLY MOTHER OF THANK YOU LORD FOR KOBER.
Is that Morrison running past Kobe? Where is he headed?
@wil – Yeah; He’s headed to center court, to fool everybody into thinking he played and actually did something in a game
where ball scratching happens.
(hint :25 right side of screen)
OMG, what a good spot!
But seriously, how great was this shot, too bad people are going to forget Fisher’s clutch three just moments before, that was the one that gave us a chance to come back in the first place.
Good to have D-Fish on your team too. Somehow, no matter how poor he’s been, that guy finds a way to come up big.
Hillary Ocholla says
I can surely relate to that 😀
Yeah, these posts here just keep getting better and better as the season progresses.
I’ve had to have watched this shot about, oh, I don’t know, in excess of 20 times..
j. d. hastings says
I gotta say- high def, slow motion, multi-angle capabilities really improve the reliving of these things don’t they?
Guess whose DVR recording ended as the ref is handing the ball to artest to inbound? Where is the option to go 30 minutes and 6 seconds past the scheduled recording time? It’s like TiVo russian roulette. What an exciting win, though!
1. Kurt pretty much tempted fate with his whole “i’m tired of winning big” shenanigans.
2. the heat really killed themselves with the missed free throws.
3. Lakers have no idea how to guard the high pick and roll.
The Dude Abides says
6. That was hilarious. I think that was the guy who was sitting next to Jack.
The K Bros at the LA Times said it best…
” And speaking of big moments, Derek Fisher’s overall effort was something of a mixed bag, particularly in the area of shot selection. But we wouldn’t even be analyzing a Laker win without his clutch three pointer with four seconds remaining. Something about that particular number (4) seems to bring out the best in Fisher. Point four. Fourth quarter, where he grabbed an offensive rebound in traffic that set up another of Kobe’s key buckets. Say what you want about Fisher’s streak shooting and often maddening forays to the hoop,but if the game’s on the line, damn right I want the dude on my side. And credit his accountability, nothing after the game that “had I hit a couple more earlier in the game, we wouldn’t have been in that situation.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. He is a bad PG with lots of limitations… But if there is an open shot at the end of the game it is going in almost every time for him. The guys is more clutch than Kobe. When I say that I mean that Kobe makes shots the entire game… so his play doesn’t exactly get better as the pressure mounts. But Derek Fisher (0-3 on threes until that last shot) is now a bad shooter until the 4th quarter puts her hands around his neck. He is the epitome of a clutch shooter.
When he bobbled the ball a bit after the catch I thought, “oh no… now he’s going to toss up another one of those heavily guarded desperation off balance threes…”
Only for that moment I forgot that it was Kobe we’re talking about.
Don’t take him for granted kids. Legends like this don’t come around too often, and we are definitely spoiled.
Nice take by Adande on the Kobe shot
It’s like Kobe is the best “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” player in NBA history. If you blindfold him, spin him around 10 times and place him at any random location on the court with 3 seconds left in a game, he’ll connect thumbtack and donkey rear with more regularity than anyone else could dream of.
Yeah, this shot and then the Grandprix win in skating by Kim completed my day 🙂
Four minutes before the end Lakers were up 4 points. Let’s take a look at their offensive possessions.
4:07-3:54 Bryant’s TO
3:54-3:35 Bryant’s missed FG
3:25-3:08 Bryant’s FG made
2:43-2:18 Bryant’s missed FG
2:16-2:07 Bryant’s FG made (+FT made)
1:58-1:38 Fisher’s missed FG
1:26-1:03 Gasol’s FG blocked, Artest’s missed tip in, Bynum’s missed tip in , Gasol’s FG made
0:49-0:25 Bryant’s missed FG
0:22-0:15 Bryant’s missed FG
0:10-0:09 Gasol’s 2 FT made
0:09-0:04 Fisher’s 3P made
0:03-0:00 Bryant’s 3P made
8 used by Bryant. 8 points from Bryant’s possessions.
4 used by no-Bryants. 7 points from no-Bryant’s possessions.
I say: it’s good to have no-Kobes on your team.
Contrary to last year’s Lakers, this team so far has not been defeated by inferior teams–and they’ve won the close ones. They really really hate to lose.
Here’s how this one ended:
Just before the one minute mark, Gasol makes a tip-in for two. After Wade makes a jumper and Richardson makes two foul shots, Gasol makes two free throws. After Wade makes two free throws, Gasol sets up Fisher for a miracle three.
It is only after Wade makes one of two free throws, that Artest finds Kobe on an inbounds, and Kobe makes the game winning circus three.
Except for two free throws by Richardson, Wade made all the points for the Heat.
With substantial scoring help from Gasol and Fisher, Kobe only needed to deliver the dagger–with an exclamation mark noticed ’round the NBA.
TRad, you forgot to mention how wide open Artest was on that last play….
Please, who shot well last night? Even Gasol and Bynum were less efficient than usual.
I think most of us would like to see the Lakers move away from ‘live by Kobe die by Kobe’ in the last minutes of a close game.
But if you can’t just sit back and enjoy that shot and the win, well….
Gr8 Scott says
First – what an awesome win. We truly had no business stealing this one, but that’s what we did thanks to another huge 3 by Fish and Kobe’s clutch shot. Yes, it was lucky, but luck favors the prepared.
Second – was it just me or did last night seem like a game where we tried to do just enough? I’m not knocking the final result, but this was a team playing on the second night of a back to back and we should have put them away after 3.
Finally – how many game winners has Kobe hit? How many chances has he had? I’d be curious to know how many he’s hit over the course of his career.
Gr8, Gr8 win. Let’s keep the train rolling.
Fun win–but not a good win.
Watching this game with friends made it 10X better. When Kobe hit THE THR3E, everyone in the living room exploded and we all started jumping up and down just like the Lakers on center court. We all had that light headed buzz of euphoria.
@Karl, I think about that all the time. . . we are incredibly SPOILED to have KOBE. Luckily the broadcast was on ESPN so the whole country could witness his basketball greatness. This will most definitely be a career defining moment we will always look back on.
Craig W says
I don’t like TRad’s statistics, but they are accurate and they do point out that we stop running the triangle earlier and earlier in the 4th qtr.
This is dangerous and we will get bitten by it more than once this year.
My wife and I were among the ‘OhMyGod’ crowd at the end of the game – and we gloried and saved Kobe’s heroics as much as anyone, but I still am disappointed at how the team played and how the offense stopped near the end.
i thought one impressive aspect that enabled Kobe’s late-game heroics was the team’s attitude to being down a couple of points late. Dating back to Game 4 of the Finals, it seems like we just know what to do in that situation to grind it out – we don’t go for the 3 too early, we foul right away, we have timeouts saved. Impressive game management
great shot. think about how many times that highlight was shown on sportscenter, youtube, espn, etc.. think about the number of people who watched that highlight.. even replayed it over and over again on youtube because of its brilliance.. think about how that play might make bryant’s career highlight list and get played over and over after he’s retired.. how many times have you seen jordan’s change of hands against the magic or championship clincher against the jazz.. they might show it every single time they talk about the GOAT.. or the greatest shots ever..
think about the sheer number of people who will watch clip over and over in their basketball watching lives.. if there were ever an inopportune time to touch yourself.. that would be it.
Warren Wee Lim says
Been living in a cave lately guys… who’s this Kobe guy? I heard he makes these shots look easy 😉
Trad/Robinred, yes Gasol and Fisher made key shots down the stretch, but it is Kobe that creates the shots most of the time. The Lakers get away from the triangle some late, which was more of a problem in the Smush/Kwame era to me because we had one guy who was a threat to score late (or early, or in the middle of games). Now, we have the talent to freelance and still be effective.
There are no style points, just wins and losses. This one was not pretty at times, there were things to pick apart. But it ended in about as dramatic a fashion as a game can end, and those moments are too rare not to enjoy. Especially in December. After a slogging through blowouts, this was finally a fun game to watch.
Oh, and credit the Heat who missed free throws but to their credit got up for this game and played 10x better than the night before.
17. I think Adande “Ding’d” that article.
I was almost sad and half way gave up on the game. I muted the TV because i didnt want to hear Mark and Jeff. As soon as that shot went in I shrieked (as my friends put it) and immediately turned the volume on and hit rewind. Thank God for DVR, that was one ‘bad’ shot!
I didn’t mean it that way. Kobe was 12/25; it was Artest, who was 4/17, who was the problem with the shooting.
What I meant was that the team was playing a second-tier team at home, in the second night of a back-to-back, that missed 15 FTs, and it took a miracle shot to get the W, with the bench only scoring 10 points.
Certainly, Miami gets some credit, but this was not a great win in terms of the team’s performance.
D-Fish’s and Kobe’s shot were definitely the highlights of the game. But, let’s also acknowledge that the Lakers may have put themselves in the position to have to make these two nail-biting shots. The Miami Heat is a great team, but with the fire power of the Lakers do we all really feel the Lakers played at their normal potential. I’d say no, like no defense on Wade, no post ups and no pick’s. Lastly, let’s not applaud a Laker or any other player for that fact that gets ejected from a game not fouled out. Lamar Odom left his teammates hanging in the wind with only a 4 point lead.
matuldi klinsmann says
miami lakers games are nearly always close and fun.
@trad let’s leave kobe out for games and watch lakers without him shall we?I wonder how they’d perform.
watch greatness while on the floor,don’t be jealous.
I like the darker lighting on the crowd that the Lakers went to awhile except for moments like this. I compare it to the famous wide angle shots of the whole arena for Robert Horry’s three pointer against the Kings and the resultant explosion of the crowd.
Wow that was an incredible shot. What always amazes me is Kobe truly believes he can hit any shot all the way until it drops through the net or it bricks. He is unphased by what is conventionally a good, bad, well-defended, off-balance or twisting shot. What a bad man.
33. Patrick I concur.
“best bad shot maker ever.” Great line from Adande and totally on point.
Is it just me or did Sasha (after hugging Kobe) circle back around to the end of the line to get in another man squeeze? Maria’s watching you, Sasha.
Did anyone else notice the difference in Kobe’s initial reaction? Normally he expects these to go in and he has some cold-blooded stare or fist-pump or ball-grabbing ready. But he honestly didn’t expect that to go in. His initial reaction reminded me of Lebron’s (but more subdued) – he was much more surprised than he normally is. And he doesn’t try to hide it in his postgame talk, calling it “the luckiest shot I’ve ever made.” I don’t think even Kobe fully expected to make that one, not like he normally does.
Why the teeth, Kobe? Ah, well….I guess after a shot like that you celebrate however you want to.
3Threelll (last thread) – Nah, it was Ben Wallace who was in the original altercation with Artest; Wallace shoved Artest and Ron walked away to the scorer’s table. (Remember, O’Neal and Artest were on the same team, O’Neal had Artest’s back, he sucker punched some fans that came onto the court).
P. Ami says
You make some you miss some. Kobe makes some more then others. I loved that scrum where the Lakers length finally led to Gasol tipping in a shot. I liked the D that forced Wade’s pass into the side of the backboard. The bounce just went his way and he made a tough arching lefty over Gasol. I loved the clock management and shot selection that led to Fish’s make and obviously I love Kobe’s glory.
But, back to scratching heads, I thought that JVG made an excellent point about defense. Kobe was getting picked off of Wade like crazy on their screen a roll and they highlighted Fish staying on Chalmers (to Kobe’s left) rather then helping to slow down Wade as he got steam past the pick on Kobe’s right. Basically Fish was on the wrong side of the pick and didn’t help Kobe recover from it. I’m thinking these types of situations can be rectified but why is a 13 year vet was so out of position on a play that had been successfully run about a half dozen times in the last 6 minutes of the game?
I blame Kobe for the game being so close. He shouldn’t have said the 7 games before this one were boring. 🙂
chris h says
j.d. here is a link to Kobe’s post game interview, though this is from the LA Times and not the Fox Sports West one I was referring to where he talks about the “front row fans” who left early.(I bet they are hating life today!)
for me what I liked about last nights game was that early on, we were not hitting anything, we had good shot selections, but were getting tapped, the shots just didn’t fall. so, next thing you know, Derek and Pau do this little (veteran) 2 man game, getting Pau the ball close in and he drops a few chippies and next thing you know, we’re back in the game.
the other thing is we had lots of good defensive things happen, but the “loose balls” just didn’t bounce our way, like that block by Artest on that 3 point shot, we didn’t get the loose ball and they wind up getting a 3 out of it, or Wade picks up a loose ball late in the game and gets a lay up.
these things were going against us, and I could see that past Laker teams would have said, “it wasn’t going our way tonight” and not fought hard and not give up like the team played last night. we didn’t quit when there were many reasons to (and past teams would have).
that’s the difference with this team, so far, I’m not seeing any quit in them, that makes them even more dangerous, given the depth and talent on this squad.
looking forward to Phx, gotta get up for them, put them away, can’t let them start believing they have a chance against us, and we owe them for a couple years of gloating, it’s our time now folks!
Good point. Without the no-Kobes of this year, this game would never have come to the point where that shot was a game-winner.
We might not have had any business winning this game, but at the same time… when Artest in-bounded the ball, the players spread out to space the offense, and it became glaringly obvious that Kobe was going to ignore them and shoot this one himself, over a double-team, I wanted to reach through the TV and choke him. Artest is open! FISH is open! Damn you! Pass the ball!
Oh. Oh WOW. Um. Never mind.
Now, where is Zephid…? I haven’t seen him comment this morning, and I want to heckle him for going to bed early and missing the end of the game. 😀
MJ hit kind of a similar shot against Cavs, but he was moving right and more squared against the basket. Kobe was moving left and twisted around and basically shot it behind him as he moved past the basket. Unbelievable. Man if they give pts for degree of difficulty in basketball like they do in gymnastics, Kobe would score 40 every night.
Yeah they Lakers were off, the Heat missed a ton of FTs, too much live by Kobe die by Kobe in the 4th. If Kobe’d missed, we’d be in a postmortem funk. But he didn’t!! Enjoy these moments, I’d say 🙂
looks like i wasn’t the only one who got screwed by my dvr and the combo of espn starting the game late… i always have my recording go 30mins long and this time it stopped just before the shot. thank god for youtube.
Sean P. says
Not to rain on the parade or anything, but it should be noted that Kobe missed badly what he was actually aiming for which was the cylinder itself. Happily, he missed so badly that he hit the backboard rather than the back of the rim and it ricocheted in.
Lucky shot at a great time? Yes.
Great shot? Hardly.
But, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
Those offensive rebounds at 1:26 left are a good image of what is going to win a lot of games for us late, and what Bynum gives us as a closer as opposed to having LO close games.
Was surprised to see Drew out there, but I think if he figures out how to execute down the stretch, we will be better off with our starters closing.
chris h says
sean P, please take a hike, like you really know all that you are spouting to be true, you know that he was aiming at the hoop rather than a bank…hmmm, I wonder how you would be so sure on what Kobe was trying to do. you must be a C’s fan, cause you certainly aren’t just simply enjoying a hard fought game with an amazing ending.
Apparently Wallace and O’neal are the same guy in my mind…
Can we blame that on an early Saturday, pre-coffee? Thanks…
sasha was +6 for the game.. w/a stat line of 0/0-0/0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0
its kinda sad how the machine has been relegated to a scarecrow.
My point is Kobe was the main factor we needed two semimiracles in the last 10 seconds. Take away the last 10 seconds of the game. It leaves Lakers with 9 offensive possessions in almost 4 minutes. 7 of them were used by Bryant. It is as Kobecentric offense as it could be.
And from these 9 possessions we have got 7 points. OffRtg 77.7 is pathetic. NBA average is 106.7. Lakers OffRtg for the season is 108.1. There is no reason our starters should play so uneffective.
I say: stay with the system. Pound the ball inside. There aren’t many teams who could stop Bynum/Gasol comb. There is no team who could stop Bynum/Gasol and defend Fish/Kobe/Artest outside at the same time.
Playing in the system gives us more chances to win than relying on Kobe’s buzzer beaters. I don’t like Bryant taking over the offense and I don’t think it’s good for the team. Kobe going solo is good, but Lakers staying with the system are much better.
I always record at least an hour past the supposed end of the telecast, one time a couple of years or so back there was a double overtime game that I missed the end of.
And, because of things like Kobe’s 81 point game, I record the game even when watching live (you never know).
42, Mimsy, in my defense, I did actually stay up and watch the rest of the game, even if I truly did believe it was over. I guess you can never really quash that epsilon small amount of hope that your team will make two utterly ridiculous shots in a row.
But yea, I totally thought we were cooked after Kobe air-balled that jumper. Just goes to show that the Lakers have more grit and determination to grind out wins than I have to watch them grind out wins.
Good win, bad win, Kobe-centric, Sasha +6, OffRtg 77.7… only one thing matters
TRad – agreed – too Kobecentric on offense. We are better when we run the offense. This is not the Smushcalade teams. We have the horses to do it right.
So the following is just for grins, based on your breakdown.
Kobe – 3/7 = 8 points
No Kobe – 2/6 = 7 points
When Joakim Noah gets mad at you for dancing like a fool, you may have crossed some line.
Lebron sure has a hard time making friends.
There were some comment problems, this is a test by me to see if things are better. If people are still having problems, email me.
Never mind the heckling then. Oh, and that unquashable epsilon small amount of hope comes from having seen Kobe do this before. Often before. So we watch, wait, and hope he gets the ball and is lucky. Again.
I don’t think it was the dancing itself, so much as it was the fact that he was openly expressing the sentiment of “I don’t have to take this game seriously because I am superior to you guys in every way”. Which is not only completely lacking in class and quite disrespectful, but you need to have Phil Jackson’s resume before you can get away with it. Of course, he might not be a good example because Phil is too professional and takes the game too seriously to pull a stunt like that — yet another reason why I dislike the dance performance: It shows a lack of respect for the game as well as for his opponent.
Goof and play around off the court. Not on the court. On the court, you’re supposed to be working. And as long as you do, you can do whatever you want on your own time.
alex v. says
For those of you saying this was a lucky shot (which even Kobe admitted), I direct you to the poster of Kobe which says: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” (I don’t know if this really exists, but it should.)
Classy interviews on both sides after the game, particularly Wade and Bryant. That guy in Cleveland could learn something from them (but that’s a shot I wouldn’t bet on).
what an amazing ending to that game last night!
Is there any concern with Pau’s eye? That shot he took from Lamar looked pretty bad.
Off topic, but for those of you that watched college basketball Saturday morning: John Wall is the next great NBA PG. He is going to be another CP3/D-Will level player, he has amazing court vision.
Kurt – the hype around this kid has been ridiculous, but I haven’t seen him yet (I was afraid of the same hype machine that touted Mayo/Rose as better than CP3/D-Will). Another throwback pass-first guard would be amazing. I’m really looking forward to catching a glimpse of him. Anyone know when his next few nationally televised appearances are?
Also, this is pretty neat (although not using a shot chart or any advanced metric) – look at who has 3 of the top 5 points in the paint leaders:
Ian, I have looked on all the NBA news sites I usually check for injury news, but I haven’t found anything mentioning Pau’s eye. That’s usually a good sign, if there was a possibility of him not playing against the Suns tomorrow, that would be all over the news.
I remain cautiously optimistic.
j. d. hastings says
60- Kurt, that’s just going to make it that much more tragic as PG desperate Knick fans watch the Jazz have to figure what to do with the Williams/Wall redundancy (And this is why every team in the West should be rooting for the Knicks to win every game)
Adande absolutely ‘ding’d’ that article. Fisher’s reaction to the shot played out exactly like mine:
“When it left his hand, it didn’t look like it was gonna be a shot that could go in,” said Fisher, who was just a few feet from Bryant when he took it. “But as it got closer to the basket, I was looking and was like, ‘Man it’s straight.’ I was excited. I had to really remind myself that this is a mid-season game in December. I was running around, I jumped on Kobe’s back like it was the Finals.”
And it’s true that if that shot or fisher’s didn’t go in, Kobe would have been the goat. The miscommunication between he and Pau on the possession leading to Kobe’s airball was just inexcusable after playing together for 2 years now. I think Kobe got into the matchup with Wade and wanted to win or lose it himself…
Having said that, the way the Lakers stayed in this game on a night when NOTHING was falling, then executing perfectly in the last 25 seconds to give themselves a shot at the win with Kobe, shows their maturity. The Fisher shot was well run and executed. I had no doubt that was going in. The last play wasn’t run as well, but they got away with it.
Long story short, this felt like a 2006 game where it truly was Kobe or Nothing. If it was the playoffs, I think Kobe is more patient, but he understands the moment. National Televised game, him v. Wade in the last minutes- he’s playing to that, and I don’t mind so long as he turns it off when its a more important game to win.
Hey, I was at a concert last night and had my phone in airplane mode. Anything exciting happen? 🙂
I flipped my phone on and saw the ESPN page and picture. All the twitter and text feeds all came bursting through at the same time marveling about Kobe’s shot. Instead of staying out and grabbing a bite, I immediately rushed home to watch what happened. Freaking amazing.
Figures, I’ve watched the last few blowouts live and when I finally don’t watch one live, it’s one of the most amazing Kobe shots ever.
As for Kobe shooting it off the board instead of straight into the rim. He admitted it was a lucky shot but I thought I read somewhere that he said he was purposely shooting it hard and knowing that, went for the backboard since that increases the margin of error. But it was late last night when I was rewatching and still surfing all the news reports.
Bottom line, what an amazing finish.
Mimsy #57, I would love to see Phil dance like that… Maybe after the game during the interviews or during practice so it’s not classless.
New post up, a little tribute to the Taco Unit from Han.
57, the only people that Phil disrespects are the sideline reporters. Seriously, I love those mid-half interviews just to see how badly Phil can diss the sideline reporter and have it still air on national TV.
I only said Phil takes the game seriously… not the people contributing to the media circus around it 😉
No way on earth that shot was aimed at the cylinder. Hah, wouldn’t have the same arc if it did, it barely cleared Wade’s hand.
As for being Kobe-centric : we still scored at least 1 pt per Kobe-possession, and that’s what leads to the non-Kobes being that much more effective.
Credit the non-Kobes for being there, unlike the non-Wades, but it’s always much easier to pick things apart in retrospect and from the chair. Other than Fisher, I’m not sure anyone in the Lakers is comfortable taking game winners and risk the L as well as Kobe’s ire who will always believe that he had a good shot.
alex v. says
A minor point, but I was happy/surprised to see Sasha on the court at the end of the game. I think that’s a sign that Jackson hasn’t completely given up on him.
I saw the second half of the KY-UNC game, and I thought Wall was good but not great. But I think he played better in the first half, and he may have been too hyped for a national TV game. Like the Heat last night, you have to give UNC credit for coming back instead of giving up in a tough road situation.
I don’t know if anyone mentioned this already, but didn’t Kobe hit a buzzer beater to end the 1st half? Also, I remember him hitting some insane shots withou pressure from the clock. He was just in the zone. What a performance!
I’ve become at least 90% convinced that Phil and Popovich have a running bet going on to see who can make a sideline reporter cry first. For the record, I like Pop in this battle: other than Sager, I don’t know if half the reporters know that Phil is making fun of them.
Brian Tung says
TRad (11:47 a.m.): And yet, Kobe started the quarter with six straight points. Why don’t you start there? Or if that’s too early, why don’t you start with the twisting lefty hook?
My point being: If you choose your starting point, I’m sure you can find some interval over which Kobe-ball really hurt the team. But the man shot 12-25, including a couple of treys and 7-8 FT; his shooting certainly wasn’t the reason they were in that position.
If you want to make the case that there was too much Kobe-ball toward the end–ehh, somewhat, but not really outstandingly so. There was only one really awful Kobe-used possession: the one that ended with 25 seconds left in the game. No question, that was a stinker. Before that he got fouled on the way to a lay-in (no call) that may have technically ended with a Miami rebound, but they turned it right back to the Lakers and we scored. If Kobe is driving into the inside where we have our big men stationed, I don’t think that’s bad Kobe-ball at all.
In a single game, looking at an isolated string of a dozen or so possessions without using the game video as a guide to what happened is, I think, misleading.
Dawn Callahan Kettlewell says
Just Kobe doing what Kobe does best. Amazing!