Kobe ever going to make Lakers a winner

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» Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:46 am
Kobe's one-man show is finally worth watching

By Ira Winderman - SportingNews

By the time Kobe Bryant rolled to his fourth consecutive 50-point performance, there no longer was any skepticism about padding stats or getting the scoring title as his ultimate goal.

It had become all too apparent that Bryant needs to score -- a lot -- to keep the Lakers afloat. Los Angeles is 15-8 when Bryant, Lamar Odom and Luke Walton play at least 16 minutes -- it is 23-24 when one of the three sits.

The roster is so weak that an injury to Odom or Walton -- or an occasional flailing-arm suspension for Bryant -- can nullify Phil Jackson's brilliance and set off an extended losing streak. This essentially has become a Lakers team playing three-on-five, with Smush Parker little more than a soon-to-be-departed presence at point guard and the center rotation of Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum maxed out as a couple of glorified screen setters.

Given their situation -- the Lakers are hoping to avoid a first-round date with the Mavericks or the Suns -- perhaps it's suprising Bryant hasn't scored more. His fourth consecutive 50-point game, the one that allowed him to join Wilt Chamberlain as the only players with four or more such consecutive performances, came in a 111-105 win against the Hornets. Obviously, 44 would not have been enough.

In Memphis, where Bryant scored 60, the Lakers won by two.

Before that, he dropped in 50 in what ended up as a seven-point victory against Minnesota.

His streak started with 65 points in an overtime win over Portland. If he had scored only 55 in regulation, the Lakers never would have made it to the extra period.

In the years since Shaquille O'Neal left for Miami, when the Lakers went two seasons without winning a playoff series and O'Neal won six and a championship with the Heat, Bryant has come to be viewed as a player drunk on the excesses of his personal brilliance.

He had gone from champion to caricature -- Mamba this, number-changing that. But this is different. This is playing with a purpose, doing what Dwyane Wade did last season in Miami, what Dirk Nowitzki is doing this season in Dallas.

When Walton becomes essential to success, it says plenty about the limitations of a roster. When Vladimir Radmanovic's snowboarding follies can leave the team in a bind, the genius of general manager Mitch Kupchak loses much of its luster. When the thought of bringing in 41-year-old Scottie Pippen is not summarily dismissed, the depths of desperation are legitimized.

So the triangle offense gets tossed aside and Bryant plays one-on-three or -four or -five. The difference now? His points production is about more than just filling a column on the stat sheet.

It's about winning, getting his team a legitimate spot in the playoffs -- and earning a definitive place on any MVP ballot, perhaps not at the top with Nowitzki and Steve Nash but certainly in the mix with LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan and Gilbert Arenas.


I don't see Kobe even getting the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals unless he gets another allstar type player or a superstar next to him. There has been a rumour that the Lakers are trying to get KG for Odom and that might make the Lakers better but even then they would need a distributor. Reckon Kobe will be begging for another star or stars to go to the Lakers in 2 years
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Posts: 9163
» Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:56 am
No way. He doesn't have enough help, no way does he do it out here in the Western Conference. He can, at best get the Lakers to the 2nd round though. The Lakers stuggled when Kobe started going back to 25 ppg and passing most of the time. Jackson told him to shoot more and be Kobe, and look what happened. The Lakers went on a winning streak. But overall, they don't have the big man and point guard really to help out KB24.

Overall, I agree, Kobe's one-man show is fun to watch. That's really the only thing I respect out of those Fakers... Kobe.
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» Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:17 am
I don't respect Kobe Bryant at all! He has shown that he is an arrogant, self centered idiot! He drove Shaq and Phil Jackson out of LA and then quit on his team in the last game of their playoff series against the Suns last season! The man is a great player but he is yet to deserve success and it will hard to attract a great player with the attitude he has shown. Even with the recent over 50 point games, the Lakers only barely won. They'd be better off throwing a fair bit of money at a guy like Ryan Gomes, Antonio McDyess or Hakim Warrick, if any of these guys can be had when their contracts expire. A PG like Mo Williams should also be on their list. Players that are proven hustlers and contributors that might want to play alongside a superstar that wants most of the shots are what the Lakers need
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» Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:42 am
I wouldn't be surprised if they make it to the second round (pending on the matchup, of course), but anything more than that is just crazy...
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» Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:46 am
They won't make the 2nd round, not with the matchup being against either Spurs or Suns

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