Game 3 has been the most awesome game in the playoffs so far for me. Grind it out. Wire to wire. And a breath of fresh air from those refs in games 1 and 2.
Fish came through silencing the Fisher-pls-retire movement once again. Brilliant grind it out effort from both teams. But please. Kobe Bryant was NOT a sucky chucker in game 3, as a lot of you were mentioning in the threads. Watch the game again if you have to. And I am not one to hesitate to point at Bryant for a bad performance.
As playoff games intensify, so does my passion for defending my opinions, so before you comment below, read. Again it's all good with you guys :) It's all part of the game to defend my stand.
To begin with, Kobe did not just suddenly turn into the "chucker that give people a reason to hate". If you watched the game, you know that the ff things can be observed:
1. The post defense of the Celtics c/o Rasheed Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Davis, and KG was amazing. Gasol and Bynum had a hell of a time establishing position, and when they did, it was 15 feet from the basket. So instead of blaming Kobe for Gasol's and Bynum's lack of touches, give the Celtic defense credit.
2. When Gasol or Bynum were about to get position, the triangle guards and wing had already reversed the ball to Kobe (impatience on the entry passes) :| Kobe for the most part of this game played pinch post in the triangle, so he's not in charge of getting the ball to the bigs (because he's in the opposite elbow). So I don't see how he's to blame when the ball keeps landing on his lap. And if he swings the ball to the other side again, you'd have 5 secs on the clock. Not a really good thing to do now.
3. Kobe had to work with a short clock on a lot of possessions. It's not like he got the ball at the start of the sequence and went to chucking. It's as simple as he sta yed at the w eakside pinch post while the others tried to get something to Gasol and Bynum. Credit the C's defense for not letting that happen. The ball reverses to Kobe or Kobe breaks the sequence with less than 10 secs in the shot clock and tries to make something out of their stagnated offense.
4. The energy, hussle, and defense. No need to elaborate this one.
So what's my point?
I understand that 10/29 can be improved, but the claim that Kobe sucked and was chucking aimlessly in game 3 is a baseless claim. Understand that the high volume of shot attempts was a result of: Celtics great post defense, impatience of the triangle guards and wing (Artest, Farmar, Brown, even Odom at times) to wait for Gasol/Bynum, and a stagnated offense with the shotclock running down.
To put more perspective, this game was characterized by great defense. You look at it closely, no high level player played at an extremely high high level, except Garnett. Allen? Pierce? Bryant? Gasol? Rondo? Of course we're thankful that Fisher's greatness came through and some of those shots were insanely difficult, mind you.
Kobe should make more of those shots, but to say he sucked and was chucking aimlessly is not fair.
And you know what, I'd take a grind it out, high intensity defensive game with Bryant Gasol Bynum Pierce Allen Garnett and Rondo struggling any day of the week. This is the Finals, where defense, heart, and effort happens.