Two up and riding high with style!
Many people were very critical of Kobe’s performance in game 1 which I personally felt it was very unfair. He did shoot a low percentage, but that was only in the first half. In the second half he shot almost 50% and scored 28 points. Kobe was probably annoyed with the criticism too because he came out with an absolute VENGENCE tonight.
The first half felt very much like a throwback game from the last two years with Kobe doing everything and the rest of the team moving to brick city. This really worried me. Thankfully that was all for naught as we managed to stave off their best shots and ended the game with a blowout.
I think this game maybe more than any other this year highlights why Kobe Bryant is the true MVP of the league. The basic strategy George Karl had for the game (as near as I can tell anyway) was to allow Kobe to score and just keep everybody else from going crazy. It’s a common tactic that is used against superstar led teams all the time. One of the best ways to beat the Suns or the Hornets is to make Nash or Paul a scorer.
Kobe Bryant however is not Steve Nash. He’s not Chris Paul. Deciding to allow Kobe to beat you is like opening Pandora’s Box: you don’t know what’s gonna happen, but will not be good and you can‘t stop it. There truly is no limit to the amount of points Kobe can score or the speed with which he can score them, especially when baited and single covered. George Karl was really very lucky he didn’t go off for 60 or more.
I think these two games were really very poetic. With the Lakers it’s almost like pick your poison… Make Kobe beat you, or make the Lakers beat you. The Nuggets picked one and then the other and got blown out twice.
See you in Denver.
Game Awards -
The Michael Jordan Award for Ridiculous Performance of the Game: Kobe Bryant. 49 points. 10 assists. 67% from the field. Kobe Bryant is not a man. He’s an adventure.
The Dominique Wilkins Award for the Highlight of the Game: This is a toughie. I’d say it’s a tie between Gasol’s lob to Kobe for the one handed jam or that one drive to the basket in the fourth quarter where Kobe got fouled. The lob dunk was probably the more spectacular play, but on TNT they showed a slow-mo of the and 1 drive and Kobe gets fouled hard twice on the way to the basket and it doesn’t even faze him. It looked really cool; kind of like he’s a super hero and bullets are bouncing off of him.
The Corey Maggette Award for the Most Poorly Acted Yet Still Effective Flop of the Game: Sasha Vujacic flying backwards after getting “hit” by J.R. Smith. Sasha strikes again. Man, these Nuggets hate Sasha for real.
The Vince Carter Award for the Half Man/Half Hearted Performance of the Game: I have to give this to Carmelo Anthony. I just checked his stat line and he scored 23 points which I guess is pretty good, but it didn’t feel like 23 points at all. His 30 in Game 1 didn’t feel very impactful either. What gives man? Maybe that ball to the head shook him up more than we thought. If that’s the case, good defense, Derek!
The Luke Walton Award for being Luke Walton: I just wanted to give Luke an award. I’m so proud of him. He’s really stepped up like a champ these past two games. Luuuuuuuuuke!
Game 3 is Saturday @ 2:30PM on TNT.