by Samuel Prince
The Book of Jordan
Against Minnesota D’Angelo Russell only had one shot in the first quarter, never able to get into the flow of the game. Kobe on the other hand, took at least seven. As a matter of fact, Kobe took a quarter of the Lakers’ shots that night, offering only one assist. That would be okay if we were talking about the MVP Kobe of 2008..
The Lakers are in between a rock and a hard place. They have a promising young rookie and a fading star finding their identity. The Buss family must take a long look in the mirror at their franchise. Do they have the courage to take the franchise keys away from Kobe? There’s no doubt that he’s no longer an MVP-caliber player, with a ruthless and venomous offensive assault that earned him the code name “Black Mamba.” Barely a shell of his former self, Kobe has to learn how to play within the offense now.
All is not lost for Kobe or the Lakers though. We often compare Kobe to Jordan, paralleling their careers and their desire to win. Now at the end of his career, Kobe can do one more thing that Jordan has.
In Richard Hamilton’s sophomore season, Michael Jordan played for the Washington Wizards. Hamilton, like Russell was a promising young player looking to find his game in the NBA. Jordan helped propel Hamilton’s career in their two seasons together. Richard Hamilton went on to have a successful career with three all-star appearances, and an NBA championship. Hopefully Kobe can do similar for Russell, taking this final page from The Book of Jordan.
In other Laker news, Randle and Hibbert have been manhandled by Nowitzki and Cousins in their last two games. If the Lakers hope to be competitive in the Western Conference, they need their frontourt to play better.
Madison Triangle Garden
The Knicks are 2-1. Carmelo looks healthy. Kristaps has a lot of promise. Maybe the triangle will work in the Big Apple. Or maybe not? The Knicks are living and dying with the 3-ball.
In their win against the Wizards, 57 of their 86 shots were from mid-range. They shot nearly 46% from mid-range.
In their loss against the Hawks though, the Knicks also shot 46% from mid-range.
The difference? Their 3 point shooting. Against the Wizards, they shot 47% from 3, and against the Hawks they shot 20% from 3.
Shot selection is likely going to be an issue in the Garden all year, as the Knicks work out the kinks in their Triangle Offense.
One glaring issue for the Knicks are shots around the rim. They BARELY TAKE ANY! In their two games against the Hawks and the Wizards, they took a total of 18 shots near the rim. If the Knicks want to make the playoffs this year, they’re going to have to average more than 9 shots per game around the rim.
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