Lakers Have Turned it Around!
Kobe Bryant, fresh off back-to-back 14-assist games where he took a total of 22 shots in two games combined, is looking more like, well, LeBron James does every other night. The overwhelming majority of sports media outlets see the box score and immediately talk about the 'facilitator' role Kobe embraced over a two-game stretch and the positive correlation it has to the Lakers winning games.
And its true. The less Kobe shoots and the more he encourages cutting and slashing of his teammates, the better the Lakers will be. But that very aspect of his game only comes to light in small doses. Laker fans will tell you, at least the ones not in denial. It's a tough pill to swallow, watching all the talent assembled over the past offseason struggle so mightily on the court, especially while their co-tenants thrive.
So the question begs, have the Lakers truly turned it around? Well, at 19-25 it doesn't appear that way just yet. However, they did provide themselves with a blueprint for victory, but if you recall, Dwight Howard was in foul trouble for the bulk of the game and that won't be the case every night. If Dwight wants to become an integral part of the offense, Kobe will have to revert back to his playing days with Shaquille - driving on the baseline and dishing it between two defenders for the big-man, two-handed flush.
But we all know that isn't about to happen. Kobe has been quoted recently saying he 'gave up a lot to play with Shaq.' Easy interpretation means, Kobe doesn't like sharing the ball. But we all knew that already. If only kobe saw what literate America sees when he shares the ball:
The Laker offense has movement, fluidity and its unpredictable - which is what you want night in and night out. If opponents know that Kobe will run isolation sets while Steve Nash, Earl Clark Ron Artest and Pau Gasol stand on the perimeter and watch, they will be the 10th place team they currently are for the remainder of the season. Once Kobe can turn over the keys to the offense to Nash, the Lakers indeed may make that run to the postseason. But thats a big IF.