DJ & BJ’s Three-Point Take: Los Angeles Lakers
DJ Allen: @DJAllen23
BJ Boyer: @wcboyer24
“The Lake Show” hasn’t been the show that the world is accustomed to seeing. This organization has been top of the notch and always contended in the West but this year they are far from that. With an 8-19 record, Los Angeles is sitting at the 13th spot with dire need of some help.
DJ: Watching the Lakers this year has made me realize that they’re just an all around bad team, worse than the Smush Parker/Kwame Brown days, and even those teams made the playoffs. Kobe Bryant is a one-man wrecking crew out on the floor but in his 19th year at the age of 36, there’s only so much he can do. This team is currently filled with a group of average players and one hall-of-famer at the end of his career. In the so-called “Big Three Era” that type of roster is just simply not going to get the job done. On the offensive side of the ball, it’s the “Bryant Show” with a guest feature from Swaggy P, and on the defense side; there just isn’t anything. The Lakers simply lack effort on the defensive side of the ball. They average 15.5 fast break points allowed a game which is the third worst in the league. Effort isn’t something that’s taught. I was always told that you don’t have to be skilled to play defense, you just simply have to work hard but the Lakers aren’t managing to do that
BJ: Kobe Bryant has been a wildly inefficient gunner this season and it’s sad to see. Bryant, one of the most prolific scorers this game has ever seen, has shot over 50% from the field in only two games, and has shot 40% or lower in 18 games. He leads the league in field goal attempts (605), and field goals missed (380.) Bryant has taken more shots than Carlos Boozer (289), and Jordan Hill (286), who are 2nd and 3rd on the Lakers in field goal attempts respectively combined. Take a look at Bryant’s numbers in his last five games, and you’ll cringe like you do when your Aunt Sally continues to pester you at Christmas dinner about your nonexistent boyfriend or girlfriend. Bryant is averaging 22.6 field goal attempts per game, is shooting 29% from the field and 26% from three to go along with 4.4 turnovers per game. He’s taken 113 shots to score 103 points. Basketball incompetence at it’s finest.
DJ: Kobe Bryant needs help and this team needs a quick turn around if they want to compete in the highly competitive Western Conference. Bryant is averaging about 35 minutes a game as well as shooting a career low 37.2% from the field. He needs some help on the floor, preferably another scoring option that can lighten the load. The return of Nick Young helped but it still isn’t enough. We’ve seen in the past that what goes well alongside a great shooting guard is someone in the paint that you can dump the ball to and let him go to work. Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill aren’t those guys so I believe it would be in the best interest for Los Angeles to try to acquire a big man that can defend and get some easy buckets in the paint. The Lakers could also benefit from a quality point guard. Laker Nation was teased with the idea of Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo teaming up after witnessing them sitting together eating breakfast. Lakers management even offered a package including multiple draft picks but the Dallas Mavericks won the bid war. It’s hard to see Los Angeles making the playoffs this year unless they pull off a big time trade somehow and begin to consecutively win games. However, it’s imperative that they pick up some quality free agents this offseason to help Kobe contend for a sixth title in what could be his last season.
BJ: Lakers head coach Byron Scott needs to begin scolding Kobe Bryant rather than encouraging him. Scott, a former Laker who won three championships with the team in the 80’s, refuses to hold Bryant accountable and that is mind-boggling. Bryant would rather heave up a contested 20-foot prayer with a much longer and athletic defender draped all over him than pass to an open teammate, and this has eradicated the little chemistry that this team has developed. Bryant tries to conquer his opponents with a series of jab-steps and head-fakes, but it’s all for naught against the more disciplined defenders. Scott seems perfectly content with Bryant logging 35+ minutes per contest, and refuses to berate Bryant for launching ill-advised shots. At this stage of his career, Bryant’s basketball mind should be much sharper, and he should look to do more with less. His load would be lightened significantly if he played smarter, more trusting basketball, but he continues to support the notion that he’s nothing but a chucker with 15+ bricks in every outing.
DJ: Over the span of 19 years, Kobe Bryant has been such an enjoyment to watch and learn from. He’s currently ranked 3rd in scoring after passing the great Michael Jordan on the all time scoring list. Bryant has been such a huge influence to all fans, including myself that have watched him play. From hitting game winners, to scoring 81, to still being able to play at a high level at this point in his career is a true testament to the kind of person/player he his. The way he approaches the game and works at his craft is truly motivational on and off the court because it shows that if you truly work hard at something, you can become great at it. Kobe Bryant’s work ethic and passion for the game along with his will and determination to be great is why he his one of the greatest to every play this game.
BJ: Last night during the Lakers’ 108-101 loss to the Sacramento Kings, Kings announcers Grant Napear and Jerry Reynolds stated how “depressing” it was to watch Kobe Bryant force the issue on seemingly every possession. As a lifelong Laker fan, it certainly is sad to see Bryant go out like this, but he has no one to blame but himself. Hopefully for the Lakers and Bryant, resting him will put him a position to play smarter, more efficient basketball. With each Kobe clank, the frustrations continue to amass. When will things change?