Thirteen down, three to go.
There are a couple things that surprised me about tonight’s game, and the most notable one was the arrival of Andrew Bynum to the post-season. After struggling throughout the Playoffs, he had his best game thus far. He didn’t put up jaw dropping numbers, but he came in with a lot of energy and played well against Dwight Howard. He, along with our other bigs, were able to keep Dwight to only one made field goal.
Another thing I was pleasantly surprised to see tonight, was our defense — let’s be honest, we’ve been very inconsistent this season, including in the Playoffs, so to see them guard Dwight well inside and get out and guard the 3-point shooters was almost a thing of beauty.
We limited them to making only 8 threes in the game on 34% shooting and only 30% shooting overall. We also out rounded them by 14 tonight.
And then there was Kobe. What else can I say, that hasn’t already been said about that man? Seriously.
It wasn’t just the Kobeshow, we did get good contribution from Pau, who scored 16 points, and Lamar, who had a double-double, but it was pretty close to it. He showed no mercy tonight and set the tone that there we were winning at all costs.
Player of the Game: “I just want it really bad” – Kobe Bryant. He wasn’t lying either. He came out on a mission, scoring a personal NBA Finals high 40 points, and adding 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
Play of the Game: I was going to go with a Kobe shot, but I couldn’t settle on one. Do I go with the layup after his excellent footwork around three Magic defenders, the and 1 shot, etc? Ugh! I just couldn’t choose. Help me out, guys!
What’s Up Next: The Magic are not going away. I don’t expect Dwight to be so irrelevant and I think Van Gundy will decide it’s probably best to guard Kobe with multiple defenders.
See you all next game.