Lakers come together tonight vs the spurs to pull a little closer to making the playoffs. The team is 27-12 since Jan 23rd when they were 8 games under .500 and dead in the water. In this stretch, they have beaten playoff teams like the spurs, thunder, warriors, grizz, nets, celtics, bulls, pacers and hawks. It's too bad we won't get to see what they could have done with Kobe, but still fun to see the other pieces come together.
As for the future, darrius Morris and Jordan hill are both guys capable of being NBA starters and I think they are both really underrated. Morris is the teams best perimeter defender and has improved as a pg. Hill was the teams best 6th man before the season ending injury in late decemeber and his loss has been understated. Very bright hope going forward.
Darius Morris has improved.....tremendously he used to be a turnover prone liability who almost didn't look like he belonged in the league...
Morris biggest weakness is hes always looking to pass and doesn't have confidence to attack. Early november, Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe madehim look like a d leaguer the way they got up on him and forced him into turnovers. But he has a very mice handle and speed and the confidence to push it has come around nicely. He still drives looking at everything but the rim, but it's coming together.
Everyone knows Kobe was the Lakers' most reliable offensive weapon and the player to go to when they needed a bucket, but as I said in the previous games he sat out or when he got rest on the bench. I really like the Lakers offense without Kobe. It flows so much better and allows guys to be themselves. My main problem with Kobe always has been the ball sticks too much. As with the other games he sat out, tonight the ball was constantly moving and was not dominated by a single player. They played inside out and kicked the ball to the open shooters. It just seemed like they played the right way. They won as a team with everybody doing their job. Dwight and Pau were the focal points and everybody rotated around them. Their wasn't a lot of forced shots or over dribbling as I usually see with Kobe, although he is good at making those forced shots.
I'm not trying to start a riot saying the Lakers are better without Kobe, I'm only saying I like the offensive flow of the team as far as looking like a team instead of everybody standing around watching one person try to make a play.
No no, thats totally fair and I think most would agree. I really think they would be a better team if kobe didnt dominate the ball so much but still brought the same toughness and intensity. But Kobe has that "sh*t my team is playing bad so I have to take over" mentality, which result in him messing with the natural flow of the ball and ends with forced shots.
Benchwarmer got it. This team is a better team without Kobe (or his always have the ball in my hands play style). With this current team, they can actually run pick and rolls, and pass the ball around. In a close game like this, everyone knows Kobe usually has the ball. And believe it or not, Kobe has missed more then double the amount of game winners he's made. Even if they go in, they are always forced, terrible shots. At least now they can play normal bball. Will they miss him? yeah they will. But atleast Dwight can become his Orlando self and lead this team.
...are a better team without Kobe but they are not "better" without Kobe. I know it's kind of contradictory but it is true. You are better with a Kobe Bryant on the court....but some of the talent on the floor can fail to be maximized because of how much Kobe dominates the ball and how often he takes really bad shots. The elephant in the room (that most media members won't touch) is that the Lakers have underachieved this year not because of Mike Brown or Mike D'Antoni but because of the mindset or lack of team that exists. Kobe to his credit improved as a passer as the year went on.
For one night the Lakers looked really good. Kudos