Tag Archives: Kobe Bryant

Barkley on Kobe

Before the Mavs – Lakers game tonight, here’s Barkley:

“If Kobe scores 30 tonight the Lakers lose.”

“The Lakers need to pound the ball down low to Bynum and Gasol, with no Tyson Chandler.” (Chandler is out).

The Jet then interjected that it’s not whether Kobe shoots a lot, but the type of shots he takes. Ernie Johnson said something about Kobe having a chip on his shoulder, and Barkley:

“It’s not about a chip on your shoulder, it’s about strategy.”

Thank you, Barkley.

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Maximizing offensive efficiency

During Kobe’s “hot streak,” I’ve been writing that he’s actually inefficient compared to Andrau Gasnum, the Lakers’ superb tw0-man post presence. I’ve said that he should give up some shots until his efficiency equalizes with Gasnum’s. Adrian the Canadian was quick to send me a Sloan Sports Analytics Conference paper arguing that teams  might equalize offensive efficiency too much already. The author (Brian Skinner) uses some network theory for unknown reasons (it’s not related to his point), but the paper boils down to Continue reading

Stop Kobe before he shoots again; gearing up for the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

My apologies for missing the last couple days on the blog, but don’t worry, I was hard at work on two projects that I’ve just submitted with a couple other guys to the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. I’ll have more to say about them soon — one project looks at the effects of temperature, rest time, and turf type on MLS games, and the other examines the true value of winning the NBA draft lottery and measures how much tanking really goes on in the NBA.

In the meantime, Kobe Bryant is lighting up scoreboards and shot charts. He must be reading this blog, but I think all I did was make him angry. He’s taken 31 shots in each of the last three games and managed 40 points in all of them. Reading the ESPN write up from the last one, it looks like we have our new MVP.

However, over those games he’s made 47 shots for a Continue reading

Kobe’s back!

Kobe Bryant is all fired up because people think he’s over the hill. I’m not sure he’s over the hill, but I do think that he excludes his teammates and plays macho, low percentage basketball. Looks like the Lakers can expect more of the same, especially with his 48 points last night. Even simple stats suggest that Kobe could play smarter. Despite shooting 46% from the field, he’s only shooting 18.8% from three point range this year on 4.4 three pointers per game (his career numbers, 33.7% and 3.8 attempts, are more reasonable but not great). He’s also averaging 3.9 turnovers per game this season.

Meanwhile, Kobe’s whipping boy Pau “the Gas Man” Gasol is shooting 57% from the field this year and Andrew “Huge Potential” Bynum is at 53%. It’s basic game theory. Kobe should stop taking threes and feed the big men (generating higher percentage shots) until the defense reacts by doubling more. Kobe’s shooting percentage should go up (he’ll be open more), meaning that the shooting percentages will even out at a higher average for the team as a whole. Based on his post game comments, though, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen.

Nuggets innovate while Kobe builds a house

On Sunday night, the Lakers traveled to Denver for the second half of a home and away back to back. The Lakers took game 1, but home court and youth were on the Nuggets side for game 2. The Lakers got great games from Pau “the Gas Man” Gasol and Andrew “Great Potential” Bynum, keeping the game close. Then, Kobe “took over” and blew the game for them. His bricklayer performance (6-28, 16 points, 2 boards) was the old man version of his 2009 finals game 7 ugly (6-24, 23 points, 15 boards) — fewer trips to the line and no rebounding. Bad sign for the Lakers.

The Nuggets took full advantage of old man Kobe, letting him take tough jump shots and then leaking a player as soon as the shot went up. On one Kobe brick, Continue reading

(Lack of) Effort in the NBA and clock management

The lockout shortened NBA season is officially rolling, and everyone is talking about the demanding, condensed schedule. The Lakers start was a case in point: three games back to back against the Bulls, Kings, and Jazz. They should have beaten the Bulls but blew a 5 point lead in the last minute. Then came the predictable, tired-legs loss to an inferior team in Sacramento.

The Lakers came into the season in disarray. The league denied their trade for Chris Paul, Kobe hurt his wrist (a full ligament tear that will likely get worse, not better, this season), they traded extremely disgruntled Lamar Odom for next to nothing (he was part of the Paul trade offer), and Pau Gasol remains somewhat disgruntled (also part of the Paul trade offer). To make matters worse, the Clippers swiped Chris Paul instead and beat the Lakers twice in the preseason. New coach Mike Brown felt it necessary to assure the media that the Lakers would make the playoffs before their third game against the Jazz.

After their loss to the Kings, a lot of people expected an 0-3 start for the Lakers. The Kings game was close until the final 1:30, so they should have been especially tired against the Jazz. Instead, the Lakers came out and demolished the Jazz.

I have a different theory for what happened to the Lakers. Continue reading

Howard and the Lakers

At halftime of the Lakers and Bulls Christmas day game, the commentators speculated on whether the Lakers can compete as they are or whether they should keep pushing to trade for Dwight Howard. Magic Johnson said unequivocally that the Lakers cannot win a championship with their current team and should continue working on a trade offer with Andrew Bynum as the centerpiece. Chris Broussard went even further, arguing that the Lakers should trade Bynum and Pau Gasol, which seems to be what the Magic want.

This was music to my ears. The Lakers have some interesting new role players this year (good rebounders Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts, sharpshooting rookie Andrew Goudelock). Even if they have to trade one or two of these guys and a stocking full of draft picks, it’s a great time to follow my South Beach Talents model by pairing top 15 superstars. I no longer put Gasol in the top 15, at least not with the specter of Kobe staring down ready to criticize every mistake.

With Brook Lopez out, the Nets missed their shot. The Lakers should do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to get Dwight Howard. If they do, they will immediately become strong contenders for at least one more NBA championship. What more could they want under their Christmas tree?