Now let’s turn our attention to the perennial star of the show, Kobe Bryant. He started slow and it looked as if his poor play against San Antonio this season would continue. It didn’t last long though because he was soon one of the feistiest, most active players on the court… not that that is a surprise to anyone.
His first points were on a patented turnaround jumper off a nice feed from Lamar Odom, and it snowballed from there. He was moving well without the ball and looking to post up. Kobe was also aggressive in fighting for offensive boards; I like seeing Kobe get involved in ways other than pure scoring sometimes.
His intensity on the glass reminded me of Game 7 last year, when rebounds and defense pretty much won us the Larry O’Brien trophy. As well all shudder to recall, Kobe had a terrible game from the field but crashed the boards hard and did anything he could to give his team a chance to win. That’s the Kobe I saw on the floor last night.
The Mamba was all sorts of riled up last night, at one point getting his 14th technical of the season for elbowing Manu Ginobli after being fouled. Bryant was looking to send messages last night whether he admits it or not. I thought it was hilarious to see Ron run over and separate them by the way, considering his own aggressive streak. It was definitely a positive thing but made me laugh.
During this same interval, Kobe pulled out one of my favorite moves of his arsenal: shake, jab and drains the three. Baller! Just because he can’t always resist showing his emotions or trash talking, he turned to the courtside fans behind him and shouted “Yeah” while nodding his head and running up court.
Late in the third quarter, Bryant got a steal and ran up the floor to create a three point opportunity. After being fouled, he was absolutely fired up, gesticulating and shouting and generally acting like this was the biggest game of his life. Feisty Kobe is awesome.
Next: Best Game Thus Far