After yet another road loss that saw the Lakers fall to 6-14 away from Staples Center, Andrew Bynum was asked if the Lakers problems are fixable?
If we can be real with each other. Yeah.” Bynum said.
Alright Bynum, lets keep it real.
Kobe Bryant finished the night 9 for 31 from the field (29%).
Bynum shot the ball just eight times, one less attempt than the amount of shots Bryant had from the three-point line.
Bynum made six of his eight field goals (75%).
As someone who has watched the majority of Kobe Bryant’s games over his 14-year NBA career, that may have been the worst 2nd half I have ever seen him play.
He was 3 for 18 in the 2nd half (17%). Many of his shots were forced; he rarely (if ever) looked to pass.
Bynum would seal his defender and have excellent post-position down low. Kobe would pull up from 20 feet with a hand in his face.
We have seen this movie before.
Back on January 1st, Kobe wasn’t having that great of a game, but that did not stop him from shooting.
He was 6 for 28 in that game (21%).
In that game Gasol and Bynum were dominating down low. The duo combined 15 for 27 from the field (56%), for 38 points. and 27 rebounds.
The Lakers lost that game, 99-90. Much like Wednesday’s loss in D.C., where the Lakers lost 101-106 after being up by 21 points earlier in the game.
You can point to turnovers, lack of bench production and bad coaching. However, if Kobe is going to be praised as a champion and MVP candidate, he needs to be criticized when he pulls what he did against the Wizards.
Bryant needs to learn not only to trust his teammates, but simply the law of averages.
No matter how good Bryant is, a lay-up is a higher percentage shot than any jump shot or fade away he decides to throw up.
That’s not to say he needs to come down every possession, throw it inside, and stand there and watch, but is it too much to ask for one of the best players of all time to pick and choose his spots?
What separates the good quarterbacks from the great quarterbacks in the NFL is the ability to adjust. If a slot receiver is lined up on a linebacker, you take advantage of that match-up. What if the defense is showing blitz and there are eight defenders in the box? Hard play action fake, and a quick pass to the Tight End.
Bryant needs to focus on taking advantage of match-ups, and if he doesn’t, Mike Brown needs to man up and remind him.
Kobe, you’re not feeling it tonight, Bynum is making everything he is throwing up. Lets work the ball inside the next 3 or 4 possessions and see what it does for us.
All the above being said, after the aforementioned Nuggets game back on New Years, Bryant went on to score 37, 30, 39, 26, 48, 40, 42 and 42 in his next 8 games. During that stretch he shot 98/196 from the field (50%).
Every once and a while your guard dog will bite you if you look like a stranger and try to hop your fence late at night. Now if you don’t want your dog to do that, then don’t expect it to bite the dude that hops the fence to come steal your 50 inch LCD.
Yes, Bryant played poorly. He did not trust his teammates, and he shot his team out of the game against Washington. Let’s all acknowledge that and shame him for a poor performance.
Does that mean we are now betting against him the next eight games?
You’re joking, right?