therealdeal wrote:^ Yep. And just when teams decide "okay well we better collapse then" we have this guy named Kobe Bryant who's going to be just waiting out there.
We thought he was the Mamba before? Well now he's going to get to pick his time to attack. I don't know if you watched the last pre-season game, but the end of the 2nd quarter Kobe just put on a show. He picked up the team and decided "yeah, it's my turn".
As good as we've looked with Sacre, Howard is going to be unstoppable. Go ahead and double off of Dwight on Pau. I dare you. Oh? You want to sag off of Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace? Go ahead and try it. And where I read that teams will force Nash to shoot the ball... He's a 50/40/90 guy. I like my chances.
The bottom line is that the Lakers starting five, if they stay healthy and have some prolonged time together, can be the best starting five the league has seen. But I can wait. Even if Howard sits out the rest of this week... it'll be worth it.
I did watch the last preseason game, and I thought the same about Kobe's performance, it was awesome.
What was a nice surprise to me (I hadn't thought about it before) is that with Nash handling the ball, not only does Kobe get to pick and choose his spots - better save his legs - take better (more open) shots; he also is freed up to chase after offensive rebounds.
Kobe's not the guy that's just gonna stand in the corner and space the floor even after shots go up, if he's not involved as a scorer or as a facilitator in a particular possession, he's not gonna just stand there, he's gonna find a way to contribute, and in most cases it's gonna be by going after loose ball and crashing the offensive glass. There were a couple of possessions where Kobe wasn't very involved in the scheme, but after a shot went up he went HARD and up and got the rebound (which led to FTs).
Another benefit is that he's gonna get more trips to the line for sure. With Nash distributing (plus the level of attention our other starters get from the D) and Kobe's ability to read the D and cut to open spaces, he's gonna get plenty opportunities near the basket & paint area, and he'll either finish (layup-dunk-little J), draw a foul, or find the open guy for an easy one.. The last game was a perfect example of that-> Kobe shot like 12 FTs in the first half!