Blog Entry

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Posted on: March 4, 2012 6:49 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 7:23 pm
 
Kobe Bryant took it to Dwyane Wade and the Heat Sunday. (Getty Images)


By Matt Moore


Maybe all he needed was a reason to make it personal. Kobe Bryant has struggled against LeBron James over the past four years as James has risen to become one of, if not the best players in the NBA. Bryant's Lakers lost games to James' Cavaliers and both matches with the Heat last year, and one earlier this season. But after a hard foul from Dwyane Wade in the All-Star game gave him a concussion and broken nose which required him to wear a mask Sunday against the Heat, things changed. Despite Bryant saying that he didn't take offense to the foul, he certainly looked like a man possessed. 

Bryant scored 33 points on 23 shots, a model of efficieny as the Lakers downed the Heat 93-83 to improve to 3-0 since the All-Star Break. He hurt the Heat from every angle with every type of shot. He worked in the flow of the offense, something he's struggled with this season and which has hurt the Lakers' offense repeatedly. Bryant would never admit that Wade's foul on him during the All-Star game had an effect, but it was clear that Bryant was zoned in to win this game. 

It may not have been a revenge game, but it sure looked like it.

In the bigger picture, the Lakers bullied the Heat defensively Sunday, and that was the real difference maker. They shut off their transition opportunities and in the halfcourt bodied, shook, jarred and shoved them around. It was a physical contest and yet the Lakers were the more aggressive team overall. That tough defense only drew 15 free throws on 17 personal fouls versus the Lakers' 29 free throws on 23 personal fouls.

Most impressive may have been Metta World Peace, who has struggled the past two seasons, but had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals, hitting 2-4 from the thraee-point line and a series of dagger turnarounds. Basically, if the world ended Sunday night you couldn't be all that surprised. MWP was everywhere defensively, badgering James and making steals and saves to dirsupt the Heat offense.

The size advantage for Miami was huge, especially with Chris Bosh missing another game due to personal reasons. The Heat had no way to stop or deter Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and the twin towers pounded them on the offensive glass. Let me put it this way. In the fourth quarter, LeBron James was trying to wrap-around passes to Juwan Howard for finishes in traffic. You can imagine how that worked out.

The Lakers are playing the best ball of their season right now, the Heat on the third game of a West Coast road trip without Bosh. But it was a statement game for L.A. all the same, and one they needed.

The worst of the night has to go to Dwyane Wade, who shot 7-17 for 16 points and fouled out with five fouls, including one late useless bump on Kobe Bryant. Wade was frustrated with the physical play by L.A. all afternoon (Wade only shot two free throws), and seemed bothered by the intensity of the game and Bryant in particular. 

Turns out it's never wise to make a snake angry.
Comments

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 5:21 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Yes, we know Kobe can score 33 points easily. But in the flow of the offense would generate 4-6 assists most nights (Kobe averages 4.7 for his career.) So this was a game that Kobe was just not passing. This cannot be considered a statement game without Bosh. It can be considered a typical LA mugging as the free throw attempts were 25 to 15 for LA.
I dont think Kobe actually passed any less than most games--his # of shots were about normal for him (23 or 24)....but if the passes do not lead to points, and they don't always, then fewer assists.  Kobe passed just fine, he played within the offense the entire game.  As to your whining about foul calls I will just refer to my earlier posts.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Miami played horribly and without Bosh
I love comments like this....Look, I will give you playing without Bosh hurt.  Would it have ultimately changed the result?  We'll never know.  That said, maybe Miami "played horribly" because of outstanding Laker defense and pretty damn good offense too?  Most fans, not just Heat fans, do this when their team loses --oh we "played terrible" rather than acknowledgign that the other team may have had something to do with that.  The Heat did not lose because the "played horribly"...they lost because the got beat by the Lakers.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Look, I cannot stand the Heat myself but I must agree withh a previous post; ZERO(0) FOULS on Bryant!?!....in a physical game like this one, against talented players!?! This is why ultimately, the NBA is a joke....Bryant coulnt guard me for 40 minutes and not pick up an accidental personal foul. Sad.


Quit crying --Kobe had 0 fouls, so what.  Lebron was only called for 1 and he spent a lot of time guarding Gasol in the low post.  You're telling me all that contact between Lebron and Gasol, trying to keep Gasol off the block or deny him the ball and Lebron only had 1 foul?

If you want to know why the Lakers had fewer fouls and more FTs its really simple.  (1) Miami "bigs" just can't be expected to guard or rebound with the Laker bigs without fouling some, too much size differential (not to mention skill as I'll take Gasol and Bynum over Juwan Howard and Haslem every day), (2) Lakers pounding the ball inside on the smaller team generates more fouls than the Heat shooting jumpers, (3) at least 1 really stupid "frustration" foul when Wade bumped Kobe for Wade's 5th and (3) the Lakers had a big lead late--team that's behind fouls intentionally to stop clock, team that's ahead shoots FTs; team that is ahead late doesnt even come close to fouling to protect the lead.  Just the intentional fouls at the end of the game will make up most of the 6 foul and 10 FT attempt difference --  i.e. say 4 intentional fouls in the last 3 minutes or so --that's 8 FTA. 

Miami fans/Laker Haters need to stop crying about the fouls and FTAs -- was relatively even all things considered:  Kobe -0, Lebron--1.  Wade 6 Gasol and Bynum both had 4 I believe, MWP had 3 or 4 too.  Get over it -- Lakers outplayed the Heat on both ends of the floor yesterday.  That is why the Heat lost, not the officials.



Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:22 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Going by your statement then, the Staples Center must be the only fair place to play. Fairness is blind; If a superstar is not allowed to foul out because he is a superstar, then that is not a fair game and this might as well be the XBA (the WWE version). Granted, the NBA is already rigged as it is, with its pro-superstar officiating which has led you to make and believe your statement. Tragic.



Since: Dec 3, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:18 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

This AllaboutU sounds like he crying like a baby

Not really crying, just stating facts.  Miami played horribly then what they've put out this year for the rest of the season thus far. It's facts.  It's ok though, so many posters want to throw out that regular season wins don't mean anything, then losses shouldn't either.  Besides it doesn't matter what the Heat win/lose in March - it matters in June.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:10 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

83 points? They got handled.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:42 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Heatmyshorts,

Obviously your posts are as bias as they can get. HEAT are the ones that benefit from calls. Don't cry so much.
Just take the loss like a man and Lakers killed them on defense. I thought Lebron was a MVP. Lakers were ahead of them all game. They clearly one the game. And Miami should NEVER complain about fouls. They always get the benefit.




Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:39 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

This AllaboutU sounds like he crying like a baby



Since: May 1, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:25 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

EXACTLY RIGHT!!!....Look, I cannot stand the Heat myself but I must agree withh a previous post; ZERO(0) FOULS on Bryant!?!....in a physical game like this one, against talented players!?! This is why ultimately, the NBA is a joke....Bryant coulnt guard me for 40 minutes and not pick up an accidental personal foul. Sad.



Since: Dec 3, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:22 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Miami played horribly and without Bosh.  Had the Heat played like this against Chicago or OKC (real title contenders), the Heat would've lost by 30+ and would've been flat out embarassed.  Regular season losses happen, and the Heat weren't always going to beat the Lakers every game they faced.  Congrats Lakers fans, you finally beat the Heat for once.  Then again, it took the Lakers beating the Heat without Bosh so good luck with that.  I still say the Lakers don't even make it out of the West.


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