Kobe’s defense less than intense

It is pre-season, of course. Nothing to worry about, right? Well, sound-off in the comments and tell us what you think!

Fox Sports: In the first quarter of the Lakers’ first preseason game — Tuesday in Honolulu against the Warriors — the Lakers relinquished 41 points. Kelenna Azubuike (try saying that once fast or slow), a development-league recruit late last season, notched 27.

He torched Kobe Bryant so often, a luau broke out.

The L.A. Times beat writer depicted the Lakers’ defensive negligence as “mushy and pliant.” Phil Jackson portrayed it as “pretty slack.”

Typically, neither author dared to mention Bryant as the leading culprit. Where’s Smush Parker when a scapegoat is craved?

No, Azubuike was not Bryant’s missed assignment the entire evening. Yet he was matched up against him when the chiseled 6-foot-5 guard — enjoying a productive training camp second only to Al Harrington, noted Don Nelson — for several of his offensive outbursts.

When Azubuike drained seven of Golden State’s first 11, Bryant was supposed to be guarding him. That included one basket when Bryant committed a turnover and didn’t get back, resulting in an Azubuike dunk. Bryant also guarded him at the start of the third when the Warriors went on a 9-0 tear.

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  • PHANTOM

    Kobe knows with this squad he has to do all the scoring which doesn’t leave any energy for defense. i mean who else is going to score? Bynum, thats a joke. It was awesome to see kobe play for usa and stop the best player every night, to bad the rest of the lakers don’t contribute and its a one man show…

  • ab4sure

    Considering it is preseason I would give Kobe a pass and plus with all that is going on you have to know that kobe is not in his right mind. I would have loved him to shut down that Azuibuke guy though. No free passes when the game counts. I would rather him score 25 pts. a game than 35 pts. and hold the other teams top scorer who might avg. 25 to 12 pts a game. Kobe is fully capable of that. If he does that this team will go much further than the nay sayers predict.

  • E

    not just the lakers, in any team, the best players are sitting out some games..i think its enough that kobe even participates the way he does…im assuming that when season stars, kobe will give it all he has

  • BEC

    [quote comment="14586"]Considering it is preseason I would give Kobe a pass and plus with all that is going on you have to know that kobe is not in his right mind. I would have loved him to shut down that Azuibuke guy though. No free passes when the game counts. I would rather him score 25 pts. a game than 35 pts. and hold the other teams top scorer who might avg. 25 to 12 pts a game. Kobe is fully capable of that. If he does that this team will go much further than the nay sayers predict.[/quote]

    I agree with you that I would love Kobe to avg 25ppg instead of 35ppg, so he can play both sides of the floor with a lot of intensity, but theres a big problem with that. If he does do that, the likelihood of this team doing better isnt even favorable. If he does score less, whos going to pick that slack on a consistent basis? One can say Lamar but threes with Kobe he has yet to be consistent with his scoring or is health. Yeah one can say if Kobe plays better defense, the team wouldnt have to score as many points, but who on this team would play defense like their life depended on it, with such intensity? A teams defense is ONLY as good as the weakest link and from the looks of things theres a lot of weak links on this team. One can also say that the intensity of that Kobe will display on defense will trickle down to the rest of the players, but shown that same intensity in work ethic and winning games and yet not one player seems to pick up on either of those. Its amazing enough that Kobe still goes out and plays his heart out, knowing that not one player on this team really has a passion to win or even the slightest intensity that Kobe has.

  • BEC

    Also, Ive seen Kobe play many preseason games and I have never seen him play this carelessly. A lot on his mind? Frustration with the team? I dont know but what I do know is everytime ive seen Kobe step out on the floor hes atleats going 90% and in these preseason games hes only going 50%. Way too many careless passes, hes trying to be all fancy and cute with his passes too; whats up with that? On offense, theres no execution, hes fancy with all his dribbles and taking shots like they dont matter.

  • fatty

    Vecsey, What a joke! Its preseason fool.

  • foxxy

    SO WHAT HE DIDNT HAVE A HOT GAME…ITS ONLY PRE-SEASON..AINT TRYING TO GET HURT!!!!HE WILL DOMINATE COME OCT 30TH AGAINST HOUSTON…KOBE WAS BORN TO PLAY BASKETBALL…NEVER FORGET THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Martinez

    Yeah I’m sure Kobes going out there with a “must win” mindset and giving it his best on defense to stop Azu in the first couple preseason games. I am sure Vecsey will question why he hasn’t scored over 20 points those games either; is he losing his touch??