Kobe Bryant Getting Tired? NBA Finals Observations

| by Dwight Jaynes

– As bad as the Lakers played, it’s incredible the chances they still had inside the final minute of the game. Kobe Bryant had two brutal turnovers, one in the halfcourt where he tried to pass the ball back outside and the other in the Boston end where he couldn’t get an outlet pass over Kevin Garnett and missed a chance for a layup that would have cut the lead to four.

– As good as Bryant is, you can see how hard it’s getting to be for even superstars in the NBA to “get their own shot” consistently throughout a game against a quality opponent. It’s fine when Bryant is draining difficult outside shots, but over time, particularly late in games, it’s extremely difficult for a player against today’s defenses to do that. He’s got defenders all over him. It’s no wonder why he had seven turnovers for the game.

And you wonder why I’m down on the Trail Blazers’ chances of ever making a long playoff run using so many isolations for Brandon Roy? If Bryant can’t do it consistently, how could you expect Roy to do it? And spare me from any thoughts Roy is better than Bryant.

The Lakers are much, MUCH better when they share the ball. When they work the triangle and get good shots inside. But it’s a killer for them when Lamar Odom no-shows and Andrew Bynum isn’t healthy.

Bynum is the key to this series and a difference maker. But it appears that knee is getting worse the longer he plays.

– I give Danny Ainge a ton of credit for adding Nate Robinson to that team late in the season. People laughed when he did it, but it was a huge move. At the level of the Celtics, very often just one big quarter from an unexpected source can mean a championship. Or don’t you remember Herm Gilliam for the Trail Blazers in 1977?

– I am not sure that Boston bench can continue to produce at that level in Los Angeles. I will believe it when I see it.

– Big Baby is pretty good. Over and over we see this — effort and timing matter a lot more in rebounding than height.

– Doc Rivers continues to show he’s an outstanding coach who has a great sense of his team. He has a great feel for substitutions and insists on unselfish play at both ends of the court. On top of that, I think he’s managed to stay humble and retain his sense of humor. I love the way Boston plays at both ends of the floor.

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