The Other Side of Kobe

05.20.10 8 years ago 56 Comments

Kobe Bryant (photo. Nike)

After he used Game 1 as an announcement to Phoenix that they can’t guard him when he wants to score, Kobe Bryant used Game 2 to prove he can also burn the Suns as a distributor — putting up 21 points (8-18 FG) and 13 dimes in another convincing Lakers win. If you watched any of the NBA highlight shows last night, you probably heard the word “facilitator” used dozens of times, as well as some analysts dusting off the old “If Kobe wanted to, he could lead the League in assists!” argument … Kobe never had to take over as a scorer. In the first half it looked like Phoenix’s strategy was to leave Ron Artest alone and let him shoot, but Ron-Ron made them pay by sticking 5-of-7 from the field with three triples for 15 points before halftime. In the second half it was Pau Gasol playing the role of primary scorer; down the stretch it was basically Kobe getting the ball on the wing and playing a two-man game with Gasol (29 pts, 9 rebs, 5 asts) to produce buckets in the paint and jumpers on the block. That and a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter was enough to put the Lakers up two games as the series heads to Phoenix … The Lakers were poised to run away in the first half before Leandro Barbosa, Jared Dudley, Lou Amundson and the Suns’ bench made it a ballgame. Dudley got into a rhythm right away, hitting a couple threes before Kobe decided he should actually guard him, and finished with 15 points on 5-of-5 beyond the arc with three steals. The Lakers went up nine at halftime after Derek Fisher morphed into Allen Iverson for one possession and weaved through the entire defense for a layup before the buzzer, but Phoenix came back to tie it going into the fourth quarter when Grant Hill and Jason Richardson carried the offense in the third quarter. Hill scored 14 of his 23 points in the third … Everybody (read: Doug Collins and Marv Albert) needs to settle down comparing Shannon Brown‘s near-miss dunk to Vince Carter‘s cram over Fred Weis. For starters, Vince made his dunk. Second, he actually hurdled the 7-foot Weis, whereas Shannon just got up really freakin’ high on 6-6 J-Rich … Barbosa had to leave in the fourth quarter after he fell into a cameraman along the baseline and cut the back of his head on the camera. When is the NBA going to do something about not having so many cameras that close to the action and putting the players in danger? Swear we’ve seen more than a few guys almost get hurt this postseason alone. (Oh, and Dennis Rodman would have caved in that cameraman’s groin) … Lamar Odom scored a resounding win in his beef with Amar’e Stoudemire. After L.O. slapped up a 19-19 stat line in Game 1, Amar’e brushed it off as “lucky.” Odom didn’t really respond verbally, but got STAT back last night when he dunked on him in the fourth quarter, capping an 17-point, 11-board effort … Wilson Chandler got popped for marijuana possession in Queens, N.Y., the other night. Of course there’s the easy joke: If I played for the Knicks, I’d need to smoke some, too.. According to one New York paper, Chandler was found with a “small amount” of weed, while another paper said he had five bags and was pulled over initially for driving with no headlights … And that’s not even the strangest NBA law enforcement story of the week. Apparently Marquis Daniels‘ dad got arrested and tasered during Game 2 of Celtics/Magic. Daniels’ pops, Willie Lorenzo Buie, was already being escorted from Orlando’s Amway Arena by security when he got out of control and hit with the taser. If only Rashard Lewis were showing that kind of energy, the Magic might have won a game at home … Yesterday Dime posted our first of many NBA mock drafts leading up to the actual event. It’s pretty universal that John Wall is going No. 1 to the Wizards and Evan Turner is headed to Philly at No. 2, but after that it gets interesting. DeMarcus Cousins could go anywhere from third (Nets) to sixth (Warriors), while guys like Xavier Henry (Kansas) and Ed Davis (North Carolina) are being slotted all over the Lottery depending on who you ask. And then there’s always the mystery of exactly where Lance Stephenson will go. Some people have “Born Ready” going in the Top 20, others in the second round. Now that you know where your favorite team is picking, who do you want out of this draft class? … We’re out like Fred Weis …

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