The Los Angeles Lakers’ worst defeat in franchise history last Sunday, January 22 had a couple of incidentals. One, t’was the 11th anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s 81-point explosion. And more embarrassingly, the defeat came at the hands of Western Conference tail-ender, the Dallas Mavericks.
By how many points was it? 49? 73 to 122??!
Wow, many would instantly notice that Kobe even scored 8 more points than the Lakers’ total production. That’s 81 to 73. Of course, that’s just an analogy. Kobe can’t score 81 in a 1 against 5 basketball game, yeah, maybe not even 4 points!
So, what happened? Just a real bad day?
Oh, but could defense actually have a bad day? More often than not, when such things happen -- blowouts that is -- it’s a combination of frustration from the losing team and a lucky night for the winning team, as in they’re really hitting their shots.
In these cases, it only shows that the team lacks character. But not this game. And not necessarily this lineup. Though it had something to do with their lineup that night, the strategy. And that was starting and keeping Brandon Ingram at point guard instead of Clarkson, Calderon, Huertas or even Lou Williams for the injured D’Angelo Russell. My, Ingram is not only a rookie and a forward but a non-starter, so why did Luke Walton continue the experiment? Ingram must have had butterflies in his tummy!
Incidentally, on successive nights we saw 2 franchise players have a career night one after another. The Suns’ Eric Bledsoe and the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard. Both having 40-point games. And both leading their teams to victory.
Know what? 40 points is not really huge per se. It’s when you could score over 50, that’s when you become an All-Star scoring threat. And that would be hard for Eric to accomplish since he’s not known for threes (altho he was 4 of 7 in that game); which means, he’s got to dominate the ball then to do such. To score 50 or so. Yup, which might not be good for the team.
As for Kawhi, okay, he’s improved a lot -- yeah, offensively that is. He’s got more confidence in his game. But he’s got to be a little more flexible in his attacks. You know, if you don’t have much contortion like MJ or Kobe then you should have strength like James. The former attribute though is more possible with Kawhi’s frame, so it’s a matter of time when he’d score 50 -- especially since he came in after the prime of Tim Duncan.
Published by Consumer Live