Ryan Fitzpatrick rocks hilarious outfit to postgame media conference after win
It's rare that we get such a smart basketball player like Bryant sitting on his couch watching the game like the rest of us, offering up his opinions in a public forum with little to no filter. Whether you agree or disagree with Bryant, the honesty was refreshing. Darius Soriano, Forum Blue and Gold: Although Kobe didn't say anything inflammatory, the desire to make the tweets a bigger deal than they were was, as Kobe said, a distraction.
While I trust the players and coaches to take what Kobe tweeted in stride, they don't need to be answering multiple questions about those statements in the middle of a playoff series. Especially now that their best shot creator has been reduced to their best tweeter. Not only can Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol score on the blocks, they can generate open looks for the jump shooters by drawing double teams.
Without Bryant in the fold, all the Lakers guards and wings just don't have the skills to function as creators. That leaves all the heavy lifting for L. Gasol and Howard need to dominate on the block early and often for this series to be competitive.
But it's not that easy. But Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is no fool. There's a reason San Antonio packs the paint and makes entry passes exceedingly difficult. Popovich knows that if the Spurs make post play intractable, the Lakers can't make them pay elsewhere. Then again, they don't have much of a choice.
Steve Nash isn't healthy enough to run a pick-and-roll-heavy offense, so Los Angeles has to go into the post. The problem lies in the lack of a perimeter threat to keep the Spurs' wing defenders from doubling down when Gasol and Howard put the ball on the floor.
Though what's needed isn't more desire to play through Gasol and Howard, but creativity in scheme to be able to do so. Simple post-ups will be taken away by a smart Spurs defense, and it's now on the Lakers' coaches to figure out adjustments to counter and limit San Antonio's ability to go inside. What I would say if I was there right now? They also don't need him taking up residency on the low block.
He can be just as effective from the high post, feeding Howard down low. The Lakers need more from their perimeter shooters. In Game 1, the team was 3-for from beyond the arc. That just won't cut it. The Lakers should be quite happy with point, rebound, six-assist nights from Gasol; the man has little more to give.
Where the Lakers are lacking is in their backcourt and bench production. Dwight and Pau combined for for shooting 54 percent , 31 rebounds and solid defense.
They combined for for shooting 33 percent. That simply doesn't cut it. His is an excellent line. It would be nice to keep Gasol down on the low block, but he's better suited playing feet from the basket than Howard is.
More pressure should be on the Lakers' wings to knock down shots on the perimeter than Gasol to improve on his Game 1 performance. Gasol's varied skill set allows him to play multiple roles within the Lakers' offensive attack.
However, when he's not sharing the floor with Howard -- and especially when he's being guarded by Matt Bonner or DeJuan Blair -- the Lakers need to find ways to get him going in the post to maximize his scoring chances. We can see it and we've heard it from Nash himself, who says he isn't moving as well as he'd like. Which brings up a good point about Kobe's tweets: Although he's a great player and is candid on social media, it doesn't mean his observations are always correct. There were subtle signs of slippage in his last two seasons in Phoenix, but the injuries this season have completely robbed Nash of his prime skills.
I hate to say it, but the former MVP doesn't even look like a starter anymore. Perhaps he'll be better next season after he has some time to rest his old bones. Or perhaps he's simply an aging player doing what aging players do.
They fall off the proverbial cliff and lose their edge. He showed flashes of what you would expect from the Nash of old, but Steve Blake seemed far more of a threat offensively. This despite Nash outscoring Blake The Lakers will need Nash to improve as the series goes on in order to make their offense more dynamic.
Nash is clearly not fully recovered from his back, hip and hamstring issues. He looks gimpy when running in the open court and lacks the same lift on his jumper. I credit Nash for trying his all to help the team, but it's obvious he's not the player he was before these latest injuries.
I can't be on the bench because I cannot travel yet surgery. The Lakers lose big on that exchange, although it will be interesting to see how Manu handles the upcoming stretch of three games in five days.
You should always talk to your 'rents, a doctor or your school gym teacher before starting a new sport or a new exercise. Hey Coach, I can't do a layup and I'm in grade seven. Please can you help me because the tryouts are coming up and I really want to make the team so I don't feel left out. But don't put too much pressure on yourself - even Vince Carter and Kobe miss layups sometimes.
Concentrate on keeping your hands and feet in the correct position. If you're shooting on the right side of the basket, shoot with your right hand and jump off your left foot. If you are shooting on the left side of the basket, do the opposite.
Release the ball at the peak of your jump and aim to hit the ball off the square of the backboard. Like any skill, the best way to get better is to practice, practice and practice again. Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant have had several battles against each other on the basketball court but the two have never played together on the same team. Kobe Bryant has already accepted an invitation to play for the US basketball team at next summer's tournament and Allen Iverson will likely be invited to play on the team as well.