The Purple Line: The Dreadful Truth

“Bryant for the win… Bang!” For us Laker fans, Kobe’s game winnings shots have been a part of this season, and when the game is on the line we all can trust on Sir. Bryant.

So far this season, Kobe Bryant has won 7 games for the Lakers with a game winning shot. These theatrical shots include fade away bankers, back down jumpers and 3 point swishes; most importantly a 15 footer to beat the Boston Celtics 90-89.

Trusting Kobe to finish off games against solid playoff threats is acceptable. Surviving in Dallas against a tough Mavericks team is a blessing; any margin of victory will do for the Lakers. And coming into the game at Boston, most people predicted a tight game, and so what if Kobe had to carry the team… that’s what he does.

However, what does concern many Laker fans is the fact that five of the seven game winners by Kobe, came against struggle and non-playoff teams.

Miami Heat were yet to find their groove early on in the season but the Lakers barely pulled the win out.

Milwaukee Bucks had been a disappointment at that point of the season with a 11-12 record, but the Lakers were still forced into overtime before Kobe bailed us out.

Sacramento Kings had no chance in playing in April, however still pushed the Lakers to their limits, and who else had to save us from humiliation — Kobe.

Memphis Grizzlies came into the February 23th game with a 28-28 record, while the Lakers had a 43-14 record. Nevertheless, the Lakers did not show any intensity for the first three quarters and had to rely on Kobe once again to win the game.

The most recent game winner came on March 9th versus the struggling Toronto Raptors who had lost 5 of their last 6 games. The Lakers were suppose to cruise into a victory, right? Wrong. Once again, no effort was shown for three quarters and the Lakers let the Raptors hang around up until the final seconds, when Kobe saved his team one more time.

So, can’t the Lakers not close out these weak teams early, and why do they trust Kobe the come to the rescue every time?

Although Kobe has proven to be cold-blooded when it comes to crunch time, Kobe is not perfect and may sometimes miss the game winner.

Twice this season, the Lakers showed a lack of intensity and focus throughout the game, and that self confidence turned out to be devastating. The opponent expanded their lead and the momentum never returned to the Lakers

The Charlotte Bobcats’ roster consists of only one all-star while the Lakers have five legitimate ones. But on March 5th, the Bobcats looked like the defending Champions, while our Lakers played like a D-League squad. As per usual, the Lakers did not show up for three quarter as they were outscored by nine in the second and six in the third. A late fourth quarter push was not enough and the Bobcats beat the Laker by 15; 98-83.

A similar story occurred on January 8th versus the Portland Trailblazers, a lackluster defense and poor offensive execution left the Lakers a big hole to dig themselves out of; the deficit was too big and the Blazers cruised to a 107-98 victory.

These two games show how the talent of the Lakers is not shown until the fourth quarter and this style of play could be disastrous. On the days the Lakers do show effort early in the game, the intensity level eventually drops and opponent come roaring back.

Take Sunday’s game against the Washing Wizards as an example; the Lakers were up 59-33 at the half. However, the Lakers began fooling around all of a sudden the Wizards outscore the Lakers 32-17 in the fourth.

Luckily, the Lakers prevailed with a win on Noche Latina, but a concern emerges; are the Lakers to reliant on Kobe Bryant? Could this also result in an early departure come playoff time?

It is clear that the Lakers are one of the most talented teams in the NBA, with the best starting five and an All-Star off the bench. So why aren’t the Lakers blowing out sub 40 win teams? Over confidence has been the weak point for the Lakers all season long, and that could be their Achilles’ heel, since playoff teams can easily take advantage.

If this trend for continues I can not promise a late June ABC game featuring the Lakers. If Kobe Bryant is the only Laker showing any passion for the game and the others are relying on him to carry them to a victory, the only way we can reach a basketball game in mid-June is with the purchase of a ticket.

Write "The Purple Line" for the best site on the web. You can contact me through e-mail or on Twitter @RamneetKB24
  • willie

    Honestly, everybody from the media to fans to even Phil is trashing the Lakers, what’s up with that: http://yallkiltit.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/lakers-losers-on-a-winning-streak/

    • LakerMarc

      It’s out of disgust and its totally called for. Are you serious when you ask WHY???

      • willie

        no i’m not serious, its rhetorical! either way, jeez louise.

    • WifelovesLuke

      LMAO…..The team is 52-18, have a 5 game lead in the West with 12 games to go and so many of the following bloggers have a finger on the “panic” button. LMAO!!!!

  • D-weezyy

    That was a FANTASTIC article! Keep it up dooode

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/the-purple-line/ Ramneet Singh

    Thanks David

  • xtro

    as if u guys dunno the m.o. of this team. lackluster playoff performances but when it matters, especially in the playoffs, the team delivers not just kobe. relax.

    • LakerMarc

      Nah, you’re assuming the same thing as last year will happpen this year and it very well might, but last year’s team was dominant, ……this year’s team really…….ISN’T. and Cleveland surely aren’t another Orlando.

  • LakersChampions

    don’t worry, guys. It’s not playoff games. Everything has its up and down points. You mentioned above 2 losses. Who cares? We had a bunch of great games. That’s what sports mean. If one team always wins, It’s not interesting to watch.
    I expect to watch ABC in June with the so-called inconsistent Lakers and its Bench Mob will be taking over games. and you will be shouting, chanting, screaming till you die “Lakers” . And Kobe will be showing you his 5 fingers with 5 rings on TV for you and you guys will be making these photos your avatar on your every social networking sites.

    The games will be in the refrigerator.
    Hail Lakers !!!!

    • LakerMarc

      ditto ….see comment above

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

        lol i will definatley make that my avatar.

  • lakerbunny

    EVERYBODY WANTS TO BEAT THE CHAMPION! WE STILL HAVE THE SECOND BEST RECORD IN THE LEAGUE! CLEVELAND PLAYS 2/3′S OF THEIR GAMES IN THE LEASTERN CONFERENCE WHERE BOSTON IS DECREPID, ORLANDO TRADED RENT-A-WRECK CARTER FOR TURKEYGLUE AND EVERYBODY ELSE SUCKS OR SLIGHTLY LESS THAN SUCKS! ***************************************************************** LAKERS FANS CHECK OUT PMOY SARA JEAN UNDERWOODS HOTTIEGRAM SITE AT http://www.hottiegram.com/welcome PLAYMATES TIFFANY TAYLOR AND CHRISTINE SMITH ARE THERE TOO! YOU GOTTA LOVE SARA’S TIGER EYES!

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/the-purple-line/ Ramneet Singh

    Knowing Kobe I expect him to get the team together, and hopefully we do see some ABC games lol

  • lakers0828

    This Laker Team Has No Intense what so ever there Arrogant They Rely on the Off switch On switch its Like Charles said on TNT the Lakers are Annoying

    • LakerMarc

      Yeah but there might also be a time when you want to turn the switch ON and it doesn’t work. Then what? The attitude in the forum sucks…. just like that of the team’s. Arrogant and very presumptuous.

  • iiTzDanny

    Cant Expect Kobe 2 be shootin buzzers all the tyme, AND do everything, ErBody Else got 2 STEP IT UP.

    • LakerMarc

      Yes!!!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

        i think everyone is kinda getting used to kobe doing less because he has done everything so it is just getting back to june play where everyone was contributing.

  • andyhank

    Believe me the lakers themselves know this. They will be fine. I’m 90% sure they will be in the finals. Whether they win it all is entirely dependant on their intensity. We all know they can be lethal when they have momentum.

    • LakerMarc

      If the Lakers themselves know this……Then why haven’t things changed? By this time last year, the Lakers were HOT !!!!!! and no one could deny it, even with the same issues they had last year, but the main concern was that last year they let LOTS of large leads slip away and just beat teams by narrower margins, this year the same is happeining and they have lost lots of them, very different scenario, although the issues are the same. What does this all mean? Trevor.

      • daboss1848

        last yr lakers went 10-5 in March (with only 1 back to back)
        wins against MEM, MIN, DAL, GSW – at home
        wins against HOU, SAS, CHI, OKC, DET, NJ – away
        and with losses to PHX (away); POR (away); PHI (home); ATL (away) and CHA (away)
        -
        this yr, lakers are 7-3 (2 back to back) with 5 games left (1 back to back left)
        wins against IND, TOR, MIN, WAS – at home
        wins against PHX, GSW, SAC – away
        and with losses to MIA (away); CHA (away); and ORL (away)
        -
        i think i just denied it . . . so what does it really mean? nothing!

      • andyhank

        Out of all people…of course they know this! They are the ones involved in it. They know how their rivals view them. They know how their fans view them. They know when they have momentum and they know when they are slacking off and hoping for that W because the game is of no particular importance to spend excess energy. They stoop down to the level of the teams they play and thats why other teams don’t give them respect as champs. All in all the way things are now is getting them by to the playoffs with the best record in the west. that 0-3 streak was a good slap to the face they they went 6-0. hopefully it will be 11-0 by the end of their road trip. they really need these games.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    no-one is afraid of this team.

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      but everyone admits the lakers are the best team with the best player.thats a sense of fear and respect go lakers!

  • Xtro

    Guys listen. In a 7 game series, it will be difficult to beat the champs. They will adjust, and with their playoffs and finals experience, they should prevail. Remember. The mitigating factor is the 7 game series. Chill.

    • trippleocho

      I agree. I don’t think there is a team that can beat the Lakers in a series.

  • forum

    dumb article…lakers are going to turn it up in the playoffs

    the only people who are making a big deal is the media to find something to biiiitch about

    if anyone knows the lakers, they play with alot of drama

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/the-purple-line/ Ramneet Singh

      Cant hid the fact that there is a lack of urgency in the Lakers.

      • ilikebasketball

        it’s been there before.

        • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Josh Herrington

          Ramneet, that is true, there is lack of urgency. As much as i want them to step it up, all we can do is wait until they are pushed to the edge and see how they respond.

          • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/the-purple-line/ Ramneet Singh

            Yea and hopefully they do get back to championship style basketball. And they played really well against the Spurs.

  • ilikebasketball

    this has been this lakers’ achilles heel since they got pau. maybe before that?
    on any given night they just dont show up because it’s not exciting. it’s the same story last year especially.
    i think this year we are going to be even more ready.

    and schumann’s article on orlando today at nba.com was good to read, i hope they knock off cleveland again!!!

  • http://to-the-rim.blogspot.com jastern21

    this article reminds me of an article i read on this site.

    to-the-rim.blogspot.com

  • iiTzKoBe

    this five game road trip is a big momentum builder going into the playoffs
    we have new orleans who just crushed dallas and kept it close with the cavs
    san antonio who is playing an excellent brand of basketball right now
    the hawks who are improved and playing a good calabier of basketball and are coming off a huge game winning dunk
    the thunder who are commited to defense and have russle westbrook and KD leading the offensive charge
    and then houston who always plays us tough
    then we come back and have utah at home, these games down the stretch are huge without bynum we have to learn how to make it work, hopefully this can get guys in rythm. maybe some bench players can step up and start to gain confidence. phil jackson says hes not worried about the lakers going into the playoffs, but its always good to be playing the best brand of basketball you can going into the post season. espically if we see portland or san antonio in the first round. we all know we struggle in portland and its always close with san antonio. i personally think the lakers will turn it on and play a dominate brand of basketball. we always have kobe to save us if it comes down to it. he loves the big shot and he loves the moment, so lets ride the kobe bandwagon how far he can take us and on the way hopefully the other players can hop on and start to follow kobes lead with intensity. but lets go lakers! the drive for five starts now!

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