07 May 2009

Rockets/Lakers Game 2

When you understand that this was a must-win game for the Lakers, it's clear why certain players did what they did last night. Fisher's bull rush into Scola while on defense? Had to set the tone. Kobe's elbow to Ron Artest's throat? Just what you gotta do in playoff basketball.

That said, while Fisher will most likely get suspended, Kobe will not, as yet another display of the NBA's complete inability to equally and fairly apply their own rules.

From the Basketbawful blog:

Again, if the league wants to stay consistent in the way it hands down its rulings, Kobe -- like Dwight Howard, who threw his elbow Samuel Dalembert's way earlier in the playoffs -- will be suspended a game for his shenanigans. Particularly in light of the crap he pulled on Shane Battier in Game 1. (And don't think for one second that the Rockets didn't send a video of that incident to the league offices.)

And yet.... despite Stu Jackson's rock-solid pronouncement that any contact made above the shoulders will result in a suspension... the Black Mamba will skate.

This is not to say the refs cost the Rockets the game. Artest was stupid to go after Kobe like that after the refs screwed him over, and should have rightly been tossed. Houston should have gone into Yao waaay more than they did, and Kobe was unconscious despite Shane Battier playing great defense. Is that last part a positive for the Lakers? I'm not sure...

I've just seen the Triangle in too many games to think that the Lakers were "on the right track." They weren't. Kobe was on the right track, nailing impossible shot after impossible shot as Shane Battier played letter-perfect defense save for one possession (a 1/3 screen and roll that he didn't fight through in his usual, A+-manner). Kobe was hot, but the Lakers weren't really running any offense.

And Kobe Bryant, brilliant though he may be, cannot continue to hit fadeaway 20-footers with a hand directly in both of his eyes while moving to his left at, if history is any clue, more than a 34 percent clip. So to expect anything close to his early shooting mark to sustain, would be ridiculous.

Bottom line, Kobe was on fire last night, and now thinks he can hit those shots every night. I don't think he can, and this will translate into another 11-32 night for the Black Mamba, and a Laker loss in Game 3.


LaPaube said...

Agreed, the NBA is completely ridiculous when it comes to consistency applying the rules. Oh, and when it comes to having rules that are reasonably intelligible.

Nick said...

LaPaube is right, but if Ron Artest was all over me doing that i would give him an elbow too

LaPaube said...

With the update that Fisher was suspended, we can add more evidence to the argument that star status means more than logic or regulations when it comes to the suspensions. Personally I thought that Kobe's play was nastier than Fisher's although it's unlikely that there weren't similar plays by other guys on both teams. So it was my opinion that of the hits that were publicized, if there were to be any suspensions from last night then Kobe should have been the first guy in line.