Forget what the words say. Kobe Bryant, the rest of the players, the front office of the Los Angeles Lakers. See actions, see energy, see faces. Everyone was waiting for Mike Brown to get the axe sooner or later, Bryant, maybe more than all of them. Magic happens, and without Brown the Lakers ran away for an easy win for only the second time this season.
Again, it’s hard to tell. The Golden State Warriors are without Andre Bogut and are a terrible defensive team, who simply take bad jump shot after bad jump shot. The Lakers didn’t feel challenged in the second half, as they ran away with the game thanks to a 25-9 stretch in the third quarter, finishing with a 101-77 win.
It’s not like the Lakers shot well or played great basketball. They simply had an easy time in the paint, with Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard each getting 2 blocks, winning the rebound battle 58-47, and one Kobe Bryant who simply had enough of everything going on with his team.
Bryant has had better games in his career, but I think he understood that at the current situation, this team will follow his energy and attitude levels. So he stepped up defensively, pretty much ran the team’s entire offense and did about anything possible except for actually wearing a suit and coaching the team from the sidelines. He finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. The Lakers shot at only 40% from the field, and without Bryant (10-18) that drops to 36.1%. Like we said, great basketball it was not.
So what was it? First off it was energy. I think everybody didn’t know how to react to it emotionally. Everybody had to just go about their business and play basketball. A lot of the emotion that was picked up was kind of unleashed when we played.
The second reason, without trying to look at the situation surrounding the game, was the Lakers supremacy in the paint. Just like against the Detroit Pistons, the Warriors just look like and under-coached bunch, which is never going to end well when you’re on the shallow end of the talent pool. Lakers have their problems, but there’s enough good things going for this team despite all the coaching problem to make teams like the Warriors seem like breakfast for them.
What’s next? Well, the fans want Phil Jackson for a third time. Some say Mike D’Antoni, which will reunite him with Steve Nash. Bryant, the man is just as in on this decision as the GM or the owner of the franchise are, simply said he wouldn’t mind working with both of them, or with assistant coach Brian Shaw.
It was always going to be Mike Brown’s head that takes the fall. When you build an All-Star team, you need a coach who can handle the ego, the talent, and not try to invent the wheel with some offensive scheme that works, with limited success, in college basketball on teams that are underdogs going into games. This is Kobe Bryant’s team, for better and for worse, but it’ll always be other people who get the blame when things don’t work out.