FanDuel - WFBC

May 01, 2006

Kobe Leads the Lakers Past the Suns in OT : Kobe adjusts to a new role in the playoffs.

posted by joecab to basketball at 01:07 PM - 24 comments

I realize the clock was running down, but it surprised me to see Nash bringing the ball up the sideline when he walked right into the odom/walton trap that led to the jumpball. All season and post-season Nash brings the ball straight up the middle of the court to prevent this very thing from happening. I still say he's up there with Kidd and Billups as the best point guards in the game right now, but that was a serious tactical error. kobe did hit the gamewinners (x2!), but the best player on the court for the series so far has been odom. save for game 4, he's been destroying shawn marion at will and the suns don't have anyone who can stop him. true, it's kobe's deference that's allowed him to shine, but if we're giving out credit where it's due, odom has to be lauded for his consistently stellar play the last few months. that was easily top 5 in terms of laker playoff finishes i've ever seen.

posted by ninjavshippo at 01:26 PM on May 01

Kobe, right now is the MVP of the playoffs! He has bought into Zenmeister's plan and by doing so it makes his team better! It should be a great "hallway" series next round for the Lakers. I just don't see Phoenix winning 3 straight!

posted by bkdet at 01:31 PM on May 01

In the next game, Nash needs to get real Nashty and go for 39pts., 22asts., and 9 boards! Oh, and he also needs to get Nashty on the rim over/on Kobe for some payback! (yeah...wishful thinking, but that would be too funny and great simultaneously!)

posted by bkdet at 01:33 PM on May 01

Suns will win this series.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 02:14 PM on May 01

out on a limb with a 3-1 lead on the books, eh? I didn't catch the whole game but I saw the end of the first half plus the last 30 seconds and OT and it looked like Lakers benefited from some non calls there. The attempt with 0.7 sec left looked like Walton tugged on whomever that was headed for the pass - greatly influencing the awkward pass reception too far under the basket. do they ever call fouls on an last second inbounds play in a tied game or does anything go? c'mon, that's gotta be a foul. I presume because he was trying to call a timeout. And then to end the game I find it hard to believe that Nash wasn't calling a timeout while in the trap. really now, they had timeouts to use and he was pissed that a jump ball was called. that said, they didn't get it done having the lead with seconds to go in both the fourth quarter and in OT. boo on the Suns, and Kobe came through twice with clutch shots.

posted by gspm at 02:43 PM on May 01

hey, gspm, you will not hear from me that there wasn't some home-court refereeing, and I sat that as a life-long Lakers fan. The bottom line is that there are more favorable calls for the one side in an NBA home playoff game than in any other sports event, except perhaps in this year's "tainted steel" Super Bowl.

posted by joecab at 02:51 PM on May 01

Why do I take all the Nash-bashing so personally? Is it the total Canadian in me? I don't go apeshit over other Canucks and their success. Hmmm. I must meditate on this. But until then - fuck the Kobe is the real MVP crap. You ask me, Phil Jackson is the MVP of this series for what he has been able to convince Kobe to do: Play like Nash - make Kwame, Lamar and Devon goddamned George look good. Everything that could possibly go right for the Lakers, has goen right. Nash has more than lived up to his billing. Including out-score Kobe (for those that can't believe how a guy who averages 16 PPG less can be the MVP - maybe after seeing Kobe actually do some things "Nash-like" you can finally believe!). Fucking hell, this series is taking it's effect on my sense of humour.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:58 PM on May 01

The attempt with 0.7 sec left looked like Walton tugged on whomever that was headed for the pass - greatly influencing the awkward pass reception too far under the basket. do they ever call fouls on an last second inbounds play in a tied game or does anything go? c'mon, that's gotta be a foul. I presume because he was trying to call a timeout. more often than not, non-calls is the name of the game in the last 10 seconds. this is why players are so averse to taking it to the rack when the clock is running down and usually jack up an ill-advised 3. need to look no further than game 1 when kobe got hacked across the face and they swallowed their whistles. I'm not saying they've evening anything up, but i think refs do err on the side of no-call as opposed to bad-call in the closing seconds. as for the mvp talk weedy, i agree with you that the person who's really taken the lumber to his detractors this season is PJ. He's never done more with less, it's unbelievable that kobe would trust him again after what PJ wrote/said about him and yet here we are. I have no beef with anyone between kobe/nash/dirk/lebron/billups winning MVP because the standards are intentionally vague and any of them could win it for a variety of reasons. that said, it looks bad when you get outplayed by your runners up (billups a few weeks ago, now kobe).

posted by ninjavshippo at 03:09 PM on May 01

Yeah, what Weedy said. Also, the whole "Kobe dunking over Nash" thing wasn't Kobe dominating Nash: it was just Nash trying to draw the charge. Nash got in Kobe's way on purpose. I can't see Kobe ever trying to do that on defence.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:45 PM on May 01

Glad to see most of you giving the Zenmaster credit where credit is due. As if the nine championships weren't enough. It never fails to amaze me that people (and these are letters to the editor in the L.A. Times, of all places) think that Phil just sat there while MJ or Shaq and Kobe did the work for him. Does anyone say that about Red Auerbach?( who had Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, etc.) Or any other coach? In fact, I can't think of an NBA Champ that wasn't loaded with talent. So why does Phil get so disrespected? He put together the perfect strategy to beat the Suns. He's made a player out of Kwame Brown. I wonder if MJ is surprised at the job Phil did with Kwame Brown. I doubt it. MJ knows that Phil is the Zen master. The Lakers will beat the Clippers and make it to the Western Conference Finals. From there who knows?

posted by cjets at 04:54 PM on May 01

He's made a player out of Kwame Brown. Making a serviceable player out of a first overall pick, impressive. Aside from the snark, I'd agree the Phil is doing a fine job with a mediocre team.

posted by tron7 at 05:05 PM on May 01

cjet, Don't count the clippers out so soon, they are tough, and they are proving it. I think that that will prove to be the best series (by best I mean highest ratings and interest levels) in this years playoffs.

posted by everett at 06:13 PM on May 01

I think it will be a great series as well. But this is still a Lakers town and that means the Lakers will have essentially seven home games (and I think it'll go seven) and that'll give them the edge.

posted by cjets at 07:24 PM on May 01

In Steve Nash's final year in Dallas, the Maverivcks won 52 games. The following two seasons - when Nash was in Phoenix - the Mavs won 58 and 60 games. If you replaced Kobe Bryant with Jason Terry, where would they be now? Think about it.

posted by Scott Carefoot at 07:48 PM on May 01

I'm no Kobe fan, but that is really great logic. I feel the same way about LBJ; Jason Terry would not have made Cleveland a playoff team either. I just can't see any good argument for Nash.

posted by everett at 09:43 PM on May 01

No No NOOOO! Dirk has carried the Mavs throughout the playoffs...he's the MVP of the postseason...though the way Kobe and LeBron are both playing, they could make a good case for it...

posted by chemwizBsquared at 10:09 PM on May 01

In Steve Nash's final year in Dallas, the Maverivcks won 52 games. The following two seasons - when Nash was in Phoenix - the Mavs won 58 and 60 games. If you replaced Kobe Bryant with Jason Terry, where would they be now? Think about it. Scott, in no way would I presume to know more about basketball than you, but that reasoning is hardly indicative of the relative value of any player, let alone Nash or Kobe. By the same hand - the Suns last year, with Amare Stoudamire won 62 games. This year, with Boris Diaw, they won 54. Does that mean that Stoudamire is basically the equal of Diaw - a difference of 8 games? No, of course not. They may play the same position, but they are different players. The fact is, Kobe wasn't in Dallas and Terry wasn't in LA. What's left are the facts. The rest is just so much speculation.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:28 PM on May 01

In Steve Nash's final year in Dallas, the Maverivcks won 52 games. The following two seasons - when Nash was in Phoenix - the Mavs won 58 and 60 games. That's a bit of a red herring. Looking at how a team performs when a player leaves is not an indication of the quality of the player that left. If anything, it should be an indication of the quality of the management, coaches and the other players for adapting. It's the same silly logic that tries to prove that ARod is a negative influence on a team's chances of winning because Seattle and Texas both had more wins the year AFTER he left. To think that ARod (or Nash) were COSTING their previous teams wins is a bit ridiculous. Only truly bad players can cost a team a win (like T.Womack or C.Guzman in MLB). Players that put up league-leading stats don't hurt their team. It also ignores the fact that Phoenix went from 29 wins in 2003-04 to 62 wins in 2004-05 and 54 wins in 2005-06 (even when they were missing a key component).

posted by grum@work at 10:30 PM on May 01

*High-fives grum*

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:34 PM on May 01

that means kwame brown is worth 11 wins!

posted by ninjavshippo at 10:42 PM on May 01

My point certainly isn't definitive, but it's worth considering. And comparing baseball to basketball is ludicrous by any standard. Nash is the best offensive player in the NBA, but his defence is atrocious. Kobe is the second-best offensive player in the NBA, and is also one of the best perimeter defenders. If we're going to be honest with ourselves, defending Nash as the MVP is either based on Canadian patriotism or simply the fact that he's an eminently likable guy. Nash is the ideal point guard for the particular system that Mike D'Antoni runs in Phoenix. As I have written elsewhere, if Nash is truly worthy of back-to-back MVPs, then John Stockton should have finished higher than seventh in MVP voting at some point in his career.

posted by Scott Carefoot at 12:41 AM on May 02

As I have written elsewhere, if Nash is truly worthy of back-to-back MVPs, then John Stockton should have finished higher than seventh in MVP voting at some point in his career. If you were going to draw conclusions from MVP voting results, wouldn't the one viable conclusion be it's a popularity contest?

posted by yerfatma at 06:07 AM on May 02

Again, Scott, I just don't trust that reasoning. Because John Stockton (who played in Jordan's era - during which time, unfathomably Olajuwon and Malone managed to win MVPs) didn't win or place higher than seventh, Steve Nash shouldn't have any consideration? That kind of logic holds no water. Maybe Stockston should have finished higher than seventh - but he didn't - it should have no bearing on Nash's candidacy as these events are distinct and separate. I think there are many valid reasons for picking Kobe over Nash. His actual value, his obvious superior play compared to the league and his peers, and his defense, but none of this should be bouyed by such speculative reasoning as "If player A was on this team instead of the reality" or "because past player X didn't recieve due consideration that means that player Y should be equally valued/shunned." I think that's a terrible way of determining value.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:38 AM on May 02

Thank you.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 04:26 PM on May 08

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