I wrote yesterday that LA would come out firing in Game 4 behind their fearless superstar and leader Kobe Bryant. How wrong was I? Expecting to see the Kobe of the past, the one that averaged 30+ points, showed the will and determination to raise his team to the next level and carry them when the rest of his teammates were performing poorly.
That Kobe never showed up, as a matter of fact he didn’t make much of an appearance during these playoffs. An average of 23.3 points is impressive, but if your name is Kobe Bryant this number is disappointing. Coincidentally that is Kobe’s point’s average for the second round against the Dallas Mavericks, his first round average wasn’t better at 22.5 points per game.
We know that scoring the basketball isn’t the only positive thing you can do to help your team win, however not to go into much detail, his assists and rebounding numbers were both bellow 4 per game. Which is saying that he is not sacrificing his scoring for another part of his game, he is just not being productive as he once was.
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I am being very critical of Kobe because he is the leader of that team and by being that guy his actions should have spoken louder than the statements in the post game press room, especially what he had to say after Game 3.
Now it’s time for the Lakers to go on summer vacation and think long and hard about how they stank it up in the second round. Is it an end of an era? Well yes, if Phil Jackson retires then it will be, but don’t discount the Lakers from a championship in the next couple of years when Kobe is assuming the position of role player behind Dwight Howard.
Not to take anything away from Dallas, they played flawless series and were by far the better team that had the best player on the floor in Dirk Nowitzki. There is no certainty of who they will be playing in the conference finals but whoever it is they will make it a far more competitive series than this one was.
Until next time..
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