It’s easy to pain this year’s Lakers team as a soap opera around the Mamba. Kobe Bryant has dominated headlines all season for his game, his comments and anything else related to one of the worst Lakers teams of his career. But he’s still got the Juice, too, as evidenced by his go-ahead jumper with under 20 seconds to play in last night’s 88-87 win. Unfortunately for Pacers fans, Roy Hibbert didn’t have the juice on the final play.
Kobe’s game-winner showed off his cagey ability to get a good look despite his wanning athleticism. He changes direction against Solomon Hill to keep him off balance, spins, and puts in a little mini-hook in the paint for the lead with just 12.4 seconds to play.
For all the majesty of Bryant’s footwork on the go-ahead jumper, Hibbert’s attempt on the other end looked like a poorly drawn up high school play.
It seems Frank Vogel wanted C.J. Miles to get the ball in close after curling around a David West screen. But Nick Young — yes, Nick Young — and Ed Davis deny him the space he needs, and he barely collects the ball before passing it back to Roy. All that’s left is a contested 20-footer that bounces off the top of the backboard…just like Vogel drew it up.
The Lakers won and Kobe finished with 20 points (7/14), six assists, six rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes of action. Roy had a double-double in the loss with 12 points (5/12), 11 boards a steal, a block and a botched game-winner.
What do you think?
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