35.5%… 27%.

What are these two numbers?

Kobe’s share of the shots taken by the entire team in each of the last two games.

it’s not that huge of a discrepancy, yet people are lauding Kobe for his unselfish play against the Wizards and comparing it against the effort against the grizzles.

You can say he only had one assists against the Grizzlies as opposed to 13 against the Wizards, but surely you have to attribute part of that to the other Lakers shooting 22-67 against the Grizzlies, as opposed to a more robust 36-63 against the Wizards… thats the difference of 14 more makes in 4 less attempts, you’d think Kobe would get at least some of those assists right?

Marquee Match Ups -

Point Guards – Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar vs. Steve Blake -

Analysis: Steve Blake is lauded as a solid pro, an all-around guy with a good outside shot. The thing is, we have one of those in Derek Fisher, so at best Portland comes out even. The difference in this match up will be Jordan Farmar. His speed and ability to get into the lane are assets that Blake will be hard pressed to match. Although to be fair, all Farmar really seems to do lately is stick around the perimeter and shoot threes.

Prediction: No Advantage.

Shooting Guards – Kobe Bryant vs. Martell Webster -

Analysis: The Lakers were supposed to catch a break last time with Brandon Roy out, but he cleared a late fitness check and ended up providing the lift that Portland needed to beat the Lakers in our last meeting. This time, he is out for sure and Kobe will be faced with the third-year Webster instead. Kobe shot like crap last game and his shot has seemed flat in recent times, but this is still a match up that I fully expect him to exploit.

Prediction: Lakers.

Small Forwards – Vlad Rad vs. Travis Outlaw -

Analysis: Another benefit that the Lakers get with Roy out is that Outlaw no longer comes off the bench… The bad news is that he is now in the starting line-up. The very lanky 6-9 Outlaw has improved his shooting range from 18ft out dramatically, and he also has the length to snag offensive rebounds out from the hands of our not-always-boxing-out defenders. A front line of him and Aldridge is a very scary though. On the other hand, Vladdy has had string of fairly consistent games so I’m almost looking forward to this match up. (is it just me, or is Vladdy the only “3point shooter” in the NBA who routinely shoots air-balls?)

Prediction: No advantage.

Power Forwards – Lamar Odom vs. LaMarcus Aldridge -

Analysis: This is a really entertaining match up. Aldridge could be described as Lamar with a jumpshot, or he could be described as Lamar minus the ball handling. While Aldridge can stretch the defense with his mid-long range game, the Blazers need him to be more of an inside presence to create better spacing for their three-point shooters to take advantage of, and that has been somewhat hit and miss. He is a very good offensive rebounder though, and Odom will really have to box him out to avoid to many extra possessions for the Blazers. On the defensive end, Aldridge might be challenged to cover Lamar on the perimeter, but given Lamar’s poor record from behind the arc and his penchant for going left (or his inability to go right) this might just be an even match up

Prediction: No advantage.

Centers – Pau Gasol vs. Joel Przybilla -

Analysis: This might be the perfect game for Gasol to come back in, he can go up against a bigger, slower player who really doesn’t have an offensive game. He will have to focus on boxing out Przybilla, as he is also proficient at the offensive glass, but

Bench Analysis: With Mbenga producing so well in limited minutes (who knew he had a jumpshot?) the bench mob is returning to formidableness. Hopefully the return of Gasol will allow Turiaf to move back to back up PF. If he does we may see the first wholesale substitution pattern in a while. Inserting Sasha, Farmar, Turiaf and Mbenga to go with either Kobe or Odom could yield positively marvelous results.

On the Portland end, their bench is really whittled down to Jarrett Jack, James Jones, and Channing Fry. On second thought, thats not a terribly bad bench.

Prediction: Lakers.

Statistical Predictions -

In case anyone was wondering, I stopped keeping track of how well I was doing weeks ago.

20+ Points: Kobe, Gasol.

10+ Rebounds: Lamar, Kobe

7+ Assists: Lamar, Kobe

2+ Blocks: Ronny.

3+ 3-Pointers: Sasha, Farmar, Vladdy,

Closest To Triple-Double: Lamar.

Out On A Limb: Sasha will get a technical for overusing “the face” – upon league review Stu Jackson will attribute it to Kobe Bryant, and he will get suspended for the Dallas game.

Score: Win by 1+… In double overtime.

Game Information -

Radio: KLAC, KWKW

TV: Fox West

Internet: NBA LP

Burning Questions/Resounding Random Rambles -

Why does Portland give us such a rough time?

Who else kind of wishes they could go shopping with Luke Walton at Costco?

If Coby Karl and the Lakers get a ring this year, does the record show Kobe 5, Shaq 4?

Agent 0 has recently been quoted saying that he’ll take a pay cut to remain with the Wizards. What are the odds of Kobe (and Lamar) doing the same?

How long before crazed Kobe fans start making Kobe Facts a la Chuck Norris?

I’ll Get Them Started: Kobe’s contract has a hidden clause saying that he must wear jerseys weighing at least 50 pounds, and shoes 20 pounds each; this is to ensure that the Kobe/Micheal Jordan comparisons remain realistic.

  • Phant0M

    Kobe:
    “I Will not Lose”

    PHANTOMIFIED

  • OwnageTime32

    I’m going to be at the game. WOOHOO

  • http://gmail.com Basher

    Welcome back Pau! The Lakers need to come out focused this game and need to remain focused throughout! Let’s get a big lead and keep it so Pau can get worked back in slowly. Plus our starters are in need of rest, they haven’t had much rest in recent games.

  • daboss1848

    nice spin job on the shot percentage . . . what’s a 10% difference? players’ FG % go up when a rhythm and flow is established – the players and PJ recognize this.

    What are the odds of Kobe (and Lamar) doing the same?
    LO: chances are good – he likes LA and would probably give the Lakers a fair discount

    KB: not so good considering he didnt give us a hometown discount in his last FA contract. Then, when we take into account that KB was the only player to vote against player salary caps (seemingly, so that he can get an A-Rod type deal), the chances seem to be negative.

  • DCLAKER

    Lakers by 14,110 – 96.

  • ab4sure

    Lamar will definitely take a cut, Kobe will not. It will make for another interesting summer in 2009. As far as comparing MJ to Kobe, MJ has a big lead.

    Any player who shoots almost 40% of the teams shots usually does so at the expense of their teammates. It is called icing your teammates and they not only feel cold to you but also shoot very cold. That is why kobe’s game against the wizards was better for the team than kobe’s individual performance against the grizzlies.

  • vida8

    some of the thing you say was funny .. i like readin you pregame keep it up !

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    well, if farmar instead of stopping pass the ball to kobe in the 3rd quarter continued to milk kobe on fire shot we would not have lost that game…

    what about when mj was taking 30+shots and steve kerr & co still made more shots than they missed?
    no , no kobe’s fault

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    Why kobe being the best player would have taken a pay cut in his real first bug contract?
    who ever did that?
    stop hatin bitches

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    sorry
    stop hatin biatches

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/?page_id=2373 Jonny

    [Comment ID #31453 Will Be Quoted Here]

    thanks vida8, i like writing them

    [Comment ID #31436 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i get what you’re saying, and to a certain extent you were right, but its also not just a matter of percentage of total shots, but whether or not Kobe is making his shots.

    Kobe started out hot in the Grizzlies game and kept going, having a remarkable half, and at that point it was already established that his teammates were stone-cold. in the eecond half Kobe pulled back from trying to single-handedly bring the LAkers back into the game and started trying to get his cold teammates involved. . . bad idea. . for better or worse, “cold team, hot Kobe” had been established, and the best option for winning the game would have been for Kobe to have another historic night.

    he ended up cooling off in the second half btw, and while he still finished shooting above 50% we lost the only real advantage that we had going for us.

    on the other hand, in the game against the wizards, “cold Kobe hot team” was established, and Kobe actually did the right thing in constantly looking to pass the ball.

    however, thats not even the point. Basically I wasn’t trying to pass of either of the two nights as awe-inspiring or puke-inducing, just mentioning they were a little too similar for one to be lambasting Kobe for selfishness in one and to praise him for team play in the second one.

  • DCLAKER

    WOW,I was off by 1 and a few points,that’s a sign….CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #31459 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Lambasting??? if i say he iced his teammates by his individual performance that is hardly lambasting. Why were they all really cold???? When a player shoots so many shots it affects the other players getting any rhythm. Haven’t you ever played with someone who takes almost all the shots??? This throws off the whole team despite the great individual performance kobe had. Remember the wizard game… kobe shot only a few shots the first half, so kobe didn’t pass because he was cold kobe passed because he wanted to get his other players involved. That is the good Kobe who can win the MVP this yr. The other kobe can win the scoring title but not the MVP.

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/?page_id=2373 Jonny

    ab4sure

    for sure, when i said lambasting i was referring to the media and not you specifically.

    so you’re saying if Kobe sets his teammates up in the first half and goes 1-6 it makes total sense for him to shoot 6-18 (which is worse than what he shot from 3 against the grizz) when his teammates are shooting such a high percentage? (over 50% w/o Kobe)

    I thought Kobe shot too much in the second game, thats why i didn’t think that the Grizzlies game was substantially worse than the Wizards game.

    but we basically agree, i would rather the whole team be making shots than watch a one man show, and in that respect Kobe’s game against Portland brought those two worlds together quite nicely

  • ab4sure

    Yes Portland was a good example of both, but if all players are playing like a team shots made will be a high percentage and gives the team the highest chance of winning.