Newsflash: Kobe's Pretty Damn Good
So, let me get this right, after coming back from eight down in the fourth quarter, Smush Parker steals the ball from Steve Nash, gets it to Devon George who pushes it to Kobe Bryant. Kobe makes a head fake left, going right and rainbowing a shot up over the Phoenix Suns defender into the hoop, tying the game for the Los Angeles Lakers with 0.7 seconds to go in regulation. Overtime here we come.
Then, in the closing seconds of overtime, Steve Nash gets tied up with two Lakers and a jumpball gets called. On the ensuing jumpball, the 6-8 Luke Walton easily won the tip over the 6-3 Steve Nash, and the ball gets to, you guessed it, Kobe Bryant who proceeds to casually hit a 15 foot jumper from just right of the key. As time runs out. Game Over. 99-98. Lakers up 3-1. Wow.
Yep, Kobe Bryant is pretty damn good. And on both plays, the ball got taken away from the alleged NBA MVP Nash. And into the hands of Mr. Bryant who only tied and won the game for the home team Lakers and send them to Phoenix with only one win needed out of the next three games. Unreal. If the vote occured tonight, and involved the postseason, Kobe would undoubtedly have that MVP trophy packed away. Not to take away from what Nash accomplished in the regular season, but from what we saw on the court tonight, there was simply one player who stood tall about the rest. And he's working on getting that Clippers/Lakers series started sooner than later.
Phil Jackson should recieve an equal amount of praise from the NBA fans, getting Kobe to share the ball once the playoffs started, allowing the entire Laker starting five into double figures (in Game 1, at least). Devon George hit some big threes for the Purple and Gold this afternoon, going 3-5 from the arc, hitting two big ones in a row when the Lakers were down eight. Lamar Odom looks like a new man in the paint, and lead the team in scoring with 25 and grabbed 8 rebounds. Kwame Brown went for 12 points and 10 boards. Smush Parker, well he did miss 10 of his first 11 shots, but he banged that 12th one in, a bigtime three late in overtime, and made the biggest steal of the game at the end of regulation. Did I mention Kobe, Lamar and Smush all had to play with 5 fouls?
What a game. This is what the NBA is all about.
Oh yeah, and the Chicago Bulls tied the series with the Miami Heat 2-2, holding on to win Game 4 93-87. Of course, it helped (just a bit) that Shaq got clipped with his fourth foul in the first half of the game. But seeing Kirk Hinrich (21), Ben Gordon (23) and Andres Nocioni (24) all go over 20 points was sweet. Hinrich also added nine dimes. Nice. But, I'm not holding my breath here, knowing the Heat is the better team, but I'm glad to see the young Bulls hold off the Heat one more night and make this thing a series. Can they win again? The series heads back to Miami for Game Five on Tuesday night. I'm thinking Pat Riley is going to have his boys ready to play. But, if Scott Skiles can somehow get his kids up to the task, I, for one, will be truly amazed. ♦Digg it ♦del.icio.us ♦Technorati ♦StumbleUpon ♦Google ♦Yahoo ♦reddit