Combating Kobe





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Uploaded on Apr 11, 2010

Portland's young defenders make life difficult for Kobe Bryant in the Los Angeles Lakers' 91-88 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

ADDENDUM: Like the conclusion of Blade Runner, I'm afraid that the video above falls apart a bit in the final act.

After hearing the Lakers principals address the last play of the game, and after another examination of the video, the play appears to be drawn up for Pau Gasol to receive the ball at the top of the arc for the game-tying 3-point attempt. Bryant, himself, moves from the top of the floor to set the down screen for Gasol.

I do think there's visual evidence that after Bryant sets that screen, he tries to pop out to the perimeter, but Batum situates himself between Bryant and the sideline, eliminating any possibility that Kobe will touch the ball in the 3.1 seconds remaining.

All this prompts the question: Do the Lakers design the play for Gasol because they've been having so much trouble freeing up Bryant? How much does Bryant's health factor into the play-calling?

In any event, this is why basketball games aren't played inside computers or editing suites.

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