Originally Posted by Mr. Jabbar
Haters doing revisionist history right now? Every one knows 2004 was the team playing like crap, I remember shaq missing some easy sh1t down low and Malone Payton ultimately su.cking. Kobe payed bad too, but no1 QUIT.
Yup. Also let's just ignore the fact that the '04 Pistons are one of the greatest defensive teams in NBA history if not the greatest.
Why do people rewrite history when it comes to that 2004 finals? Nobody would claim Kobe had a good, or even respectable series for a player of his caliber. His shot selection in particular was terrible (but at least he played good defense in that series).
But not only that, Tex Winter criticized Shaq's play in that series for being lazy on defense and the glass, and not establishing position in the paint... and I think Shaq only had the one great game that series.
During the '04 series Shaq wasn't getting in position to get the ball. (when he did he was able to score though). But even if you look at the game where Kobe wasn't looking to score, Shaq still couldn't get off. That's why Phil made the comment about wasting Shaq's great game cause he knew Shaq couldn't bring that level of energy every game. Karl Malone was hurt. Gary Payton was a bad fit and even criticized the triangle offense that year. And the Lakers really had no one else to take those shots so of course it was left to Kobe to gun, it wasn't him just forcing up bad shots.
The Lakers own coaches came out saying how Shaq wasn't working for position and wasn't working to get the ball. You can make the judgment on if that was just Shaq pouting cause he wasn't getting the ball enough or you can credit Detroit's defense. Shaq had some great offensive games but was slow defensively coming off the pick and Rip and Chauncy got to the rim at will. Payton averaged 4 ppg on 32% shooting in that series and looked slow defensively as Billups torched him for 21 ppg on 51% shooting and 47% on 3s. Malone was limping around that whole series. He couldn't contribute due to his injury and was a non-factor. Neither played at any notable level that series. To completely blame Kobe for losing is absolutely ridiculous considering the level they were actually at during that series. Malone due to being a 40/41 year old playing through an injury, and Payton was just embarrassingly incompetent. Don't remake your own history by looking up some box scores. Anyone can do that.