Friday, June 5, 2009
When Kobe gets that look in his eye, Mamba's zoned in and there's no stopping him. Kobe single handily took over Game 1 of the NBA Finals as the Lakers routed Orlando.
LA basically only needed the 2nd and 3rd quarters to seal Game 1. Orlando actually had the lead after the first and were even up 33-28 in the second quarter when Mamba stole the show. Bryant had 30 points in a 16 minute span from the second quarter into the the third. The game was well over by the start of the 4th quarter.
In 38 minutes, Kobe had 40 points, 8 boards, 8 dimes, 2 steals and 2 blocks while hitting some ridiculous shots.
As for the Magic, call it stage fright. They just couldn't hit anything. You know the old saying, "Live by the 3, die by the 3. After putting on a 3 point clinic against Cleveland, Orlando shot just 8-23 from downtown in Game 1. The Magic shot 30% overall.
And it's not like the Lakers were playing great defense. Orlando had their shots, but they just couldn't hit anything from wide open 3's to missed layups. A lot of their shots weren't even close.
How does Dwight Howard only attempt 6 shots, making just 1! Howard did get to the line 16 times but finished with only 12 points. The Lakers outscored Orlando 56-22 in the paint.
Mickael Pietrus was the Magic's leading scorer coming off the bench with 14.
The entire starters for Orlando had a combined 46 points, shooting 11-46. That's 24%! Kobe had 40 by himself!
The good news for Orlando, it's just one game. We've seen this team catch fire and when they do, the best player on the planet can't stop them. They've dug themselves deep a couple of times in the playoffs. They were down 2-1 in the first round to Philadelphia. In the Conference Semifinals, they were blown out in Game 2 at Boston. They were down 3-2 to the Celtics.
The bad news? Phil Jackson coached teams are 43-0 when they win Game 1 of a playoff series.
One other note. The Conference Finals wrapped up last Saturday night. That's a 4 day layoff. And now Game 2 of the Finals isn't until Sunday night, at 9pm EST. That's one! playoff game in a week! What the hell are you thinking David Stern. Especially after last night's blowout Game 1, this great post season has quickly lost momentum. Why not Game 2 Saturday night prime time. Do you realize how many people will be turned off by the Game 2 late start on a Sunday night. Did you look at the World Series ratings in the last few years?
And it's between Games 1 and 2! It's not like there's travel involved between the games.