Sorry, Vlad

11.28.07 10 years ago 3 Comments
IMAGE DESCRIPTIONGive him the ball (Photo. Jonathan Mannion)

In Monday’s Smack, we killed the Lakers for the play they ran on the last possession of their loss against the Nets:

With L.A. down by three with seven seconds left, Kobe (31 pts) got the inbounds and was immediately fouled as he was going up for a shot, and as soon as the whistle blew he glared over at Violet Palmer like she’d done something wrong to him. A bizarre sequence ensued: Kobe made the first two free throws, missed the third, and Boki got the rebound but nearly lost the ball. Just before he had a chance to turn it over, luckily he was fouled. Boki split the pair of free throws, giving the Lakers the ball back with three seconds left and trailing by two. (And of course they wouldn’t be going for the two-pointer.) Kidd and Antoine Wright shadowed Kobe on the inbounds, so Vlad Radmanovic got it, but never even looked in Kobe’s direction to see that Wright had moved away before firing up an off-balance three that never had a chance

It turns out that it wasn’t really Vlad’s fault, or Andrew Bynum‘s (he was apparently part of the diagrammed play) or anyone else’s. Phil is taking the blame in today’s Orange Country Register:

Jackson didn’t come down too hard on Bynum, 20, for misreading Jackson’s diagrammed last play in the loss to New Jersey on Sunday night. Jackson said he ran the play “maybe twice last year” and has had only two practices this season where he clarified situational plays such as those.

“It’s not something that would be imprinted in his memory bank where he knows he’s a real special outlet player in that situation,” Jackson said.

Bynum was supposed to come get the ball from inbounder Fisher and give it back to Fisher if he was unguarded – which Fisher was after New Jersey’s Antoine Wright left him to create a double-team denial on Bryant. When Bynum erroneously turned to set a pick for Radmanovic, Fisher had to pass to Radmanovic, who then missed a potential winning three-point shot at the buzzer.

“I try not to let them revolve around the fact that the game was lost on a last-second shot,” Jackson said. “It was lost in the third quarter.”

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