Kobe Bryant has been a model of consistency in the playoffs averaging 27.4 points and 5 rebounds in both the first and second rounds of the playoffs. Pau Gasol has been tremendous in the playoffs too for the Lakers. And that’s where it ends. Every other player on the Lakers squad has either performed inconsistently or below expectations with Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum leading that charge.
The Lakers almost remind me of Pistons teams from the past couple of years where they play like they have a switch you can turn on and off and ultimately in the playoffs that switch will get turned off for good. I know the networks and David Stern want to see Kobe and LeBron in the finals, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. The Nuggets have been dominant in the playoffs and unless the layoff has taken momentum away from them, I don’t see this Lakers team winning. Denver is deeper, has more scoring options, and I think they’re truly hungrier. Kobe Bryant joined ESPN Radioto discuss his movie “Kobe Doin’ Work”, the Nuggets series, his team’s inconsistent ways, and the Kobe and LeBron puppets.
On doing so much coaching during the games:
“What I am out there on the floor is I’m an extension of Phil. Everything that I’m saying is exactly what Phil would say because we actually think alike. Like I said, I grew up under his system. I just look at me as doing my role as a leader. If I see something, something that somebody can take advantage of, I’m going to help them out. If I see something that they’re doing wrong, something they can adjust, I’m going to point that out as well. Everything is done to help us be successful. But coaching? No…But I’ll tell you what – if I was coaching, they’d have the flyest Nike gear out there.”
On the Nuggets:
“Their explosiveness is the thing that concerns me the most. We can’t go through these little stretches where we have a little malaise or relax because they’ll literally just take off on you and go on these huge 15-1 runs, 13-0 runs and all of a sudden the game is over. So their explosiveness is something you really have to pay attention to.”
On Phil Jackson saying the Lakers have a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in them, where did it come from:
“I don’t know. It’s something that I even said last night, I actually called our team a little bi-polar. One night it’s one thing and the next night it’s another thing. It’s completely different. Houston team put up100 points on us in Houston and come home and they struggle to score 30 points in one half. It’s about getting that energy and getting that effort on a consistent basis on the defensive end…because offensively, everybody on this team is talented offensively so the offensive part comes easy. No matter how hard our defense is playing, offensively we have the ability to overcome that. But defensively, we have to have that energy and intensity all the time because the teams we’re going to play are going to continue to raise their level.
On Bynum being consistent:
“That’s on him. Last night he responded to the challenge of a game 7. I think he’s excited about the way he played. I think that excitement will carry over for the rest of these playoffs but it’s on him. He’s going to have to come with a determination to say, “I’m going to be a defensive force back here and nothing easy is getting into my paint,” and when he does that we’re a much, much better team.”