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Is There Any Hope For The 2012 Laker Team?

You may have noticed that there was no article following the Lakeshow loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

That’s because we choose to cover the Lakeshow, not the Lake-no-show

As players, as an organization, as a team of guys who should be trying to band together and uphold the honor and tradition of the purple and gold that loss was shameful. And for us fans (well at least for this fan) it was the last straw.

What really pisses me off is that no one is being honest about what the real problems are. I mean, I get it, I understand that you can’t throw another team member under the bus in a 30 second postgame interview. I do, I get it. But when is someone gonna stand up and say: DAMNIT! Kobe you LOSE GAMES when you shoot 29% and completely halt the offense.

Here’s what happens: The Lakeshow is having a so-so night. Maybe no one else is really stepping up their game. Passes aren’t crisp, ball movement is slow, guys aren’t moving. Kobe starts to sense that maybe he’ll need to fill in the gaps. The only way he knows how to do that (or so it seems lately) is to shoot.

So Kobe goes into one of two modes:  Black Mamba or Black Hole

Watch how the Laker offense starts to operate in those scenarios. One pass, Kobe gets the ball on the wing…and that’s it. He’ll either take an off-balanced, double-teamed, ill-advised, fadeaway jumper – or try to pump fake a defender and launch a 3-pointer. Defenders are getting more savvy to that last move, but Kobe’s not recognizing it.

So while the ball dies in Kobe’s hands, the rest of the team stands around. No one dives to the basket, no one sets screens to get anyone else open. Why is that you ask? Ah, that’s the key to this whole puzzle. Because for as many times as Derek Fisher holds a players only meeting, and as many times as Kobe says he trusts his teammates, the reality is – he doesn’t. A Kobe who trusts his team would recognize against Detroit that Bynum and Gasol are unstoppable, and that his (Kobe’s) shot is off that night.

You see, basketball is a game of adjustments

If a player on the other team starts to go off and is scoring in bunches, it’s up to the other team to adjust and stop him. It’s also up to that offensive player’s team to adjust their plays and keep feeding the hot hand. Kobe doesn’t do that, because it takes trust and belief in your teammates to deliver, and Kobe doesn’t possess that with the 2012 Laker squad.

Rest In Peace – Laker Offense

So when Kobe freezes the ball, the offense dies. The rest of the Lakers also don’t trust Kobe. They don’t trust that if they hustle to get position to score that he’ll pass them the ball. Remember (then) Ron Artest’s famous postgame interview after Game 7 against the Celtics in the Finals? The part that everyone laughed the loudest at was when Artest said “Kobe actually passed me the ball!!!”

In games where the Lakers win, everyone is involved and producing. And guess what, the offense looks easy. Why? Because guys are rotating the ball quickly, getting the defense to shift, setting screens, and opening holes for quick buckets.

But the drama gets deeper…Mike Brown is scared of Kobe

In the off season I was really hoping the Lakeshow would pick up Rick Adelman. The guy is an incredible coach with an exemplary record, as well as a reputation for success. Could you see Rick Adelman shrugging and letting Kobe shoot them into horrible losses against horrible teams? So Mike Brown has a decision to make, is he going to allow Kobe to run this team or is he? Will he find a way to lead this squad successfully?

Laker fans have already been let down enough this year. We lost out on the Chris Paul deal. We lost the 6th man of the year and arguably the most likable Laker, Lamar Odom (for nothing). Let’s be honest, the Dwight thing ain’t gonna happen (I think we’ll see him and Derron Williams in Dallas next year). We picked up lots of white dudes who are supposed to be able to shoot (which is mostly what white dudes are good for in the NBA) but they’re mediocre at best.

The Lakeshow may have beaten the Boshless Miami Heat, but can anyone see them taking OKC in a best-of series? Not with this lineup I can’t. So let’s see what Jim Buss will allow Mitch to do, if anything. The trade deadline nears and my fear grows that we’ll lose yet another valuable piece for next to nothing.

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    All of the Lakers faults can not lie at Kobe’s feet. The lack of viable outside options seems to be more of the culprit than Kobe shooting the ball too often.

    1. Andy Starr says:

      If Kobe sticks to 25 shots per game and hits at least 40% it’s not his fault. When he takes 30-35 shots at 29% it’s a train wreck. They do need a point guard, but he’s got two of the best big men in the game as extremely viable options.

  2. Reddog says:

    Kobe’s decision-making is horrific. Let’s see, would I rather play my five starters against an aging Kobe while everyone else stands around — or not?  Everyone in the building knows what Kobe is about these days… Remember the old George Harrison tune, “I, Me, Mine?” Well, apparently we’re just gonna keep on singing… Everybody should refund their paychecks for the Washington and Detroit losses.

  3. [...] I come back to Brown’s words after the game. It supports my earlier statement that he’s afraid of Kobe. Really dude? How many games will you elect to lose just because Kobe USUALLY hits those shots? [...]