Kobe's Conundrum: Can Kobe Master His Individual Instinct?

The dirty secret of the NBA Finals: Kobe hasn’t mattered… at least not the way you think.

Wait, what?! Kobe effing Bryant?!

The Man who hit seven straight shots in the third quarter of Game Five?!

The Man who absolutely cannot be stopped?!

The Man who single-handedly eviscerated the Suns while being pestered by Jared Dudley and Grant Hill?!

No, I’m talking about the guy who hasn’t won a championship without playing alongside the best offensive centers in the league (Shaq and now Pau Gasol.)

I’m talking about the guy who didn’t make one lay-up or dunk in Game Five.

I’m talking about the guy who hasn’t shot over 50 percent ONCE in this series. (Check out Jordan’s Finals shooting percentages before anyone comments about how clutch Kobe is.)

It’s strange, Kobe Bryant is playing the exact same kind of basketball that he did when he was widely criticized for being selfish and nearly evil.

Kobe needs to find more ways to help his team besides shooting

I was never amongst those who think he is some diabolical a-hole intent on ruining his teammates for his own benefit. However, I’ve long believed that Kobe lacks the instinct , but not the ability, to make his teammates all play better.

It’s just not as natural for him to be a passer/creator,  he is built to put the ball in the bucket.

I understand he is personally inspiring: the man works on his game like no one else in the NBA and leads by example. He also understands basketball at a level that few players have ever approached (think Bill Russell and Magic Johnson).

Even Kobe’s defense, rebounding, and all around hustle has been strong this series. The play in the fourth quarter of Game Four in which he chased

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How Should We Rate Derek Fisher?

The NBA is all about reputation. Despite the fact that LeBron’s teammates are so bad that not one of them would crack the Lakers, Magics or Celtics’ starting fives (unless Mo Williams played with enough confidence to replace Fisher), the storyline becomes how LeBron couldn’t get it done simply because he doesn’t have a championship yet.

Or imagine if instead of Pau Gasol chucking Kendrick Perkins out of bounds in the final minutes of a decided Finals Game Two the players were reversed; would you expected a flagrant foul to be called on Perkins?

Pau can get away with a blatant shove because he’s a “soft” Euro. LeBron, despite already having four playoff buzzerbeaters to his credit, still isn’t a “closer.”

And somehow, everyone has talked themselves into thinking Derek Fisher is good. But he is kind of good, isn’t he? How do we rate a player who seems to have such an impact in some games and yet we know empirically can’t be that good?

Going into the playoffs, the big story was how Derek Fisher was the one weak point of the Lakers (7.5pts, 2.5ast, 39%FGs). Now, because the Lakers have advanced to the Finals for the third straight year, the story has changed to how Fisher has “held his own” and even prevailed against the three excellent guards he’s faced thus far.

Some people think that because of Fisher’s standing in the league—he’s the head of the NBA Players Association and reportedly has an enormous dong—he is given the benefit of the doubt on everything from flops, to dirty fouls.

Best Freinds Forever!!

When we look at the numbers, at least offensively, Fisher has stepped his game up. He’s connecting on a higher percentage of his shots and shooting more often (scoring 3 pts per

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