Interesting article on the “Battier effect” on Kobe.

shaneNBA FanHouse: Battier was the defender on 27 of Kobe’s 31 shooting possessions. Artest covered five (three of which coming when Battier was on the bench getting stitches or a rest), and the other possession came against Brent Barry on a secondary break. (By the way, Brent Barry held Kobe to 0-1 shooting! Brent Barry!)

In those 27 Kobe vs. Battier shooting possessions, two ended with trips to the line. Both of these came in the final two minutes, as Kobe decided to start attacking the basket.

Bryant had only one prior FTA, on an “and-1″ against Artest. For perspective, on the regular season Kobe drew 0.33 FTAs for every FGA. But in all those Battier-defended possessions in Game 1, Kobe drew just four FTAs on 25 FGAs — 0.16 FTA/FGA.

That’s because the lion’s share of Kobe’s shots came on jumpers (25 of 31 shots). Of those 25 FGAs against Battier, 21 were at least mid-range jump shots. Of the 21 jumpers, 14 were long twos (the least efficient in basketball at the league-level). Obviously, you don’t draw many fouls on jumpers, let alone pull-up jumpers (which Kobe often went to).

Given Kobe’s aforementioned talent and focus, I find it hard to believe he simply didn’t want to drive. Kobe’s eye is on the prize. He knows what he needs to do to get L.A. another championship. He knows he’s at his best getting to the rim, especially against a long, agile, but not quick, Battier. Kobe knows all this … and took 25 jump shots. I think Battier gets credit for this one.

  • kb24bestever

    This people really like getting kobe mad dont they.
    kobe gone go in one of them streaks that he just gone be as wet as water…

  • Deesnuts

    See also last year’s finals. This is the book on how to make Kobe ineffective — there just aren’t that many teams that have the physical presence to keep pushing him out there.

    The only thing that worried me about last night was his willingness to fall back on this pattern when the going got hard against that Houston D. Pau will be better, those outside shots will start falling for the others, ball movement will improve.

    But if this team is really going to get to the promised land, Kobe is still going to have to carry them there. Against Houston (and Cleveland), that means he’s going to have to get inside and take the punishment.

  • jay

    what’s up LAMES?

    i just think that Kobe could drive to the basket anytime..i don’t know why he settled for so many perimeter jump-shots and only in the last couple minutes is when he started taking it to the hole with him pretty much getting to the line at least twice on that stretch.

    Kobe knows he can take Battier to the whole pretty much whenever he wants to because he will attract another defender in most cases he will either get fouled or command the double team and make the right play.

    another thing that bothered me that game is that Trevor Ariza didn’t come in until Houston made a run. Lakers made some silly fouls including Sasha Vujacic who easily gets caught up once he struggles on the offensive end. Sasha struggles he will committ unecessary plays if its taking too quick shots, double teaming if not needed.

    don’t get me wrong Sasha Vujacic is a great shooter. one of the best in the league. but when he struggles offensively, he struggles even more on the defensive end. thing that gets me the most i know Phil wants his players to go through the motions while struggling but in a playoff game and Sasha has not produced for the Lakers all year long, so why leave him out there? he’s at least 6’7 or 6’8.

    Phil is not the coach to adjust to other teams. But to me I feel like if he had Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar come of the bench to counter-act what the Rockets do with Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry we’ll be able to match up because D-Fish as we saw last night got beaten by Brooks at least 4-5 times for a left-handed lay-up. Doesnt make sense.

    I don’t know i say this because the Lakes have the most potential of any team i’m saying that because of the talent they have. I don’t think its being utilized right way. I’m not an NBA coach I don’t know one thing about x’s and o’s when it comes to the NBA…what i do have is common sense. To me in the NBA its a matter of adjustments and Lakers did not do that Game 1 vs the Rockets.

    My whole point of this issue is that Lakers need to focus more on adjusting to other teams. All season long i’ve followed and pretty much watched all Lakers games this year. And once the focus is there they’re ubeatable but when they settle……..they lose.

  • http://myspace.com/badlatinmutha JohnJohn

    Pass the damn ball Kobe. He looked like the old Kobe last night. What is up with the Refs? I thought this was playoff basketball. Refs seem to call tick tack fouls on the first game. Every other game the players are kicking each other a** and no fouls are being called, just be persistent for crying out loud.

  • Vibe

    If his teammates are not making shot(pau,bynum,ariza,fisher) there is not way in hell kobe could drive to the basket and not get block watch the game again. You will see kobe trying to attack but bum yao,scola,artest and battier are on the paint. So in order for him to drive all of the lakers have to make shot that way the defense will respect the shooter and that will also allow kobe to go to the rim. Why did you think he started driving to the lean at the end? Rockets knew the three was the only thing that would hurt them at the end of the game…so they stayed with there men so kobe drove.
    This is like 08 finals all over again…4 or 5 guys on kobe and none his teammates can make a shots.

  • Freshh

    Lol^

  • sketch

    Yo Kobe! It’s time to either pass the d@mn ball or just straight attack the d@mn basket! I think that I speak for most of us Lakers fans, and that it’s the latter! Stop settling for jumpers man! We know that you’ve hit countless amazing shots time and time again, but it’s the playoffs and it’s time for you to go for what you do best… get to the rim and hit the and 1′s at the line!

    If the Lakers are to be taken to the promise land by you… it you’re our Moses, then you’d better be taking it straight to the Pharaoh’s face! You’ve gotta go into his court and demand that he give you what you ask for. You can’t be timid and be sending emails or texts to him… you’ve gotta make demands of him. So, attack the d@mn basket! Force the issue! Make Battier and Ron Ron send you to the line. Let’s do this already!

    Go Lakers!

  • avcpl

    uhhh, he was sick you know. Not an excuse just a reality.

    I love it how now whenever a player is sick they expect a legendary performance.

  • LA4LIFE

    Can someone get this article to Kobe? This will motivate him as hell

  • sketch

    [Comment ID #69983 Will Be Quoted Here]

    c’mon now! now, you’re just making excuses for homeboy! sounds like the excuse that hatton corner gave after he lost to pacquiao this last saturday. Kobe’s the best there is and a little sore throat is not gonna affect his shooting or passing! we’re kobe and lakers fans, not kobe apologists! he can do wrong you know, and he needs to correct his wrongs by playing like Kobe tonight and redeem himself and the lakers in game 2!