N MY OPINION
Passing grade for Bryant is an 'F'
You saw in the first half Sunday why Kobe Bryant has more talent than any player in the NBA. He hit from the key, from the corners and from the lane. He went over Phoenix defenders, around them and wherever he chose. You see those jumpers off the spin move? Nobody stops those. Nobody did.
After one half, Kobe had hit 11 of 13 field goal attempts, scored 28 points and pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to a nine-point lead. It was as if he were playing in color and everybody else was in black and white.
In the second half, Kobe's teammates turned from black and white to invisible -- at least to him -- and you saw why Kobe is not even close to being the NBA's best player.
He missed from the key, from the corners and from the lane. He hit the back of the rim, the front of the rim and the sides of the rim. He took good shots, bad shots and, as the game wound down, worse shots.
Bryant was 3-of-10 from the field in the third quarter and 1-of-10 in the fourth. If this were football, Kobe would have been the quarterback, the running back and the receivers; his teammates would have been the offensive line and the water fetchers.
To say he ignored his teammates, however, would be untrue. He was on the court 43 minutes and had one assist. Hey, that works out to one assist every 43 minutes.
Kobe took 33 shots from the field. The three Lakers who took the most shots besides him also took 33 -- combined. Kobe hit 15. They hit 17. When Kobe deigned to give up the ball, they looked perplexed.
Question: Hey, Kobe, what was that thing you just did?
Phoenix won 95-87.
The Suns obviously are superior, and they were at home. The challenge for Kobe, then, is to find a way to lift his team. He's not that kind of guy. He's a scorer, not a leader.
Question: How many NBA championship rings has Bryant won since Shaquille O'Neal left for Miami?
Answer: The same number as you, me and Walter Herrmann.
The idea that the Lakers could win playing shoot, Kobe, shoot, is absurd. Lamar Odom shot 46.8 percent from the field this season. Go to him. If Phoenix collapses on Odom, go outside to Luke Walton, who shot 47.4 percent, or to rookie Jordan Farmar or, should he reappear, to Smush Parker.
The Lakers are not exactly full of world-beaters. But at least make the defense acknowledge the possibility that somebody other than Bryant will attempt to score. All the stuff your coaches told you about getting teammates involved is true. Unless you convince them they count, they stop working to get open.
Question: What do you call it when a Laker other than Kobe moves without the ball?
I know some of you believe Kobe is the NBA MVP. Watch him when the teams play tonight. Kobe has MVP moves, MVP leaping ability, MVP flash, and, for a scorer, MVP defense.
I can understand why you're mesmerized. I use to think the same way. Then I turned 14. IN MY OPINION Tom Sorensen
The writer makes some good points and completley dismisses other facts, probably never saw the game and read the BOX Score or got his info from the New York Post... reads like an article quit similar i read online yesterday