Re: "MONTA ELLIS HAVE IT ALL!"
Back to rant a bit, because these kind of games get me frustrated.
Lakers were actually down just five points midway through the 4th, after being down nearly 20...but then the Thunder just started to focus solely on Bryant, and the rest of the team collapsed.
Dwight didn't get one shot in the second half. That's ridiculous. He was 1-7 going into the half.
Nash was also 1-7 at halftime, but came out in the third on a mission, disappeared completely in the fourth (one shot).
Check this out: game was unofficially over at the four-minute mark, when Ibaka hit a corner three (and I threw the remote). From the start of the fourth, to that point...
Artest 3PT shot: missed (11:07)
Meeks 3PT shot: missed (10:43)
Artest 3PT shot: made (9:23)
Blake jumper: missed (8:40)
Bryant 3PT shot: missed (8:07)
Artest jumper: made (7:52)
Bryant layup: made (7:17)
Artest 3PT shot: made (6:44)
Nash 3PT shot: made (6:14)
Artest 3PT shot: missed (5:17)
Bryant jumper: missed (4:43)
Nash 3PT shot: missed (4:05)
Artest layup: missed (3:52)
Eight threes in eight minutes. Artest took six of our 13 shot attempts. Kobe and Nash took a combined five, Howard zero.
There's nothing wrong with this offense? Just because we score points and are probably still in the top 10 in ORtg doesn't mean we aren't having problems on that end of the court.
Ron Artest is NOT a legitimate second scoring option on this team. He takes more shots per game than Nash and Dwight, and nearly as many as Gasol when he was healthy (behind by 0.2 shots per game).
How much more crystal-clear does it have to get that this coach of ours is an idiot? D'Antoni wanted to bring in Raja Bell? Of course he did! There's another five or six threes jacked up every night.
We cannot defend, and that won't change because we don't have a defensive-minded coach, a horrible defender in Nash, an incredibly-bad bench in regards to total and individual defense, and Ron Artest is declining in that area as well. So, the one thing we SHOULD be able to do, that SHOULD come natural to us...scoring the ball...needs attention.
Without Kobe facilitating, we have nothing but a PG, beyond what he was during his MVP seasons, trying to hit shooters in the chest with passes. We have Marcin Gortat down low, a collection of guys who think it's okay to fire airball threes and cause fast breaks, and Kobe turning into Shannon Brown each time Nash has the ball. It's the same Phoenix Suns team that Nash led to a fishing pond back in April 2012.
So hard to watch these guys fall to the top eight teams in the West...does it really matter who we play, at this point? If Howard isn't going to P&R with Nash, if Nash is going to feed shooters all game long, if Artest is going to try and facilitate off the dribble OR play video game basketball until his shot is blocked, and if Kobe is going to be the only one on the floor that wants to contribute EVERY SINGLE QUARTER of the game...we are no better than your typical lottery team.
Looking for NBA/NCAA/HS basketball writers. Let me know if you're interested!