The Black Mamba and Decoy Kobe.
The Mamba has a killer instinct and has accomplished such feats as, dropping 81 on a defenseless Raptors team, scoring 40+ points in nine consecutive games, and has 25 total 50 point games in all. The Mamba is usually seen in elimination playoff games or when he feels his teammates don’t deserve to be on the same court as him (see 2005). This Kobe will shoot upwards of 30 shots per game and can win a ball game all by himself. The Black Mamba can usually be seen yelling at his teammates with the general message of, “get me the ball.”
Decoy Kobe usually shows up when his teammates start grumbling about touches or the media gets on his case about being too selfish. Even with being a “decoy”, Kobe can still usually get 20+ points just like he did last night. He was able to get 22 points on only 13 attempts. Not only is Kobe more efficient when he does this, but it also gets everyone else on the team involved and keeps them happy. A happy team is a team that will play tough defense, scramble for loose balls, run the fast break, and get on the offensive boards. They actually play more like a team than Kobe +4.
Whether it was Kobe’s idea to be a decoy or if it came from the head coach Phil Jackson, it was the perfect thing to do. Up until last night Kobe hadn’t been doubled too much, but Kobe was being doubled every time he touched the ball yesterday. He made the Nuggets pay by finding the wide open guys under the basket despite having defenders draped all over him. Will the Lakers continue to do what has worked and use him as a decoy or play mind games with the Nuggets and let the Mamba loose? If the Nuggets look at this game film, they’ll most likely play Kobe straight up with a heavy dose of Dahntay, AC, and JR. If the Mamba shows up, we could see a special performance out of him.
I think the Lakers have a much better chance at winning if Kobe tries to get his teammates involved early and often by pounding the ball inside. If Kobe can trust his teammates throughout the entire game (even when they miss layups or fumble the ball away), they should be able to go back to LA with some much needed rest before the finals. LeBron James could learn a lesson from what Kobe did last night. While LeBron is putting up insane numbers, Kobe has been getting the numbers that count; Wins.
RSS Make sure to subscribe to the RSS feed to get the latest Denver Nuggets news