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: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: March 12, 2012 5:28 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

 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. 

This pretty much sums it all up right here.  You think any great player would ever be bothered by the intensity of a game?  The great players thrive on intense games.  That's when you see the great players play their greatest.  You'll notice the use of the word great, and that's how often the word gets thrown around.  People are so quick to call these immature players great because they're so talented.  That's not what makes you great.  Being able to perform your best under the most intense circumstances is.  Something tells me these cats will never figure it out.  As long as Wade, Lebron, Melo and the rest of them approach the game as a popularity contest they will never be great.  The scary thing is that if they had even HALF the work ethic or played with HALF the intensity Kobe had, they could maybe all be better players. But there's a new breed in the NBA and I hope Lebron is happy going down as one of the players who helped ruin the game of basketball



Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: March 12, 2012 4:53 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

when did kobe take it upon himself to will the lakers to a championship? don't even compare him to wade
"Don't even compare him to Wade"...typical.  The only people who say ignorant things like our friend here are the people who think Shaq could have won any titles without Kobe.  You can go ahead and say Kobe needed Shaq. But Shaq needed Kobe.  You think the Lakers would have won anything with Eddie Jones as their starting 2 gaurd? Shaq needed Wade too.  Fact is, nobody wins titles by themselves.  And then, our friend says that Scottie Pippen was not as much of a factor as Kobe's big men.  You lost half the world whe you said Wade was better than Kobe.  You just lost the other half when you basically called Gasol better than Pippen.  I'm surprised I'm even responding to someone with such little basketball IQ. You obviously didn't watch Jordan and don't watch Kobe because they have something these new kids on the block, Lebron and Wade don't. We all know what it is, but I'll let you read a book and figure it out on your own 



Since: Mar 2, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 8:39 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

who cares now if lebron teamed up with wade and bosh, boohoo to you. celtics started it and now everyone wants a big three. im talking about rivalries. lebron carried a crappy cleveand team to the finals and he was the center of attention all the time. not so with bryant when he had shaq and gasol/bynum inthose championships. postshaq bryant couldnt carry the lakers to anything until gasol/bynum were relevant. he shouldnt be compared to magic or jordan, those two are leagues beyond kobe. magic wasn't a selfish ballhog scorer and made other players look good. did bryant EVER do that? No. Jordan, well lets just say he just wills something to a championship. kobe really did not have any defining play because shaq pretty much did all the heavy lifting. one can argue without shaq kobe would go nowhere, as evidenced by postshaq kobe who couldnt get to the finals. pippen was not as much of a factor as the big men kobe had to jordan really.

when did kobe take it upon himself to will the lakers to a championship? don't even compare him to wade, he completely took over the game against dallas, shaq wasn;t a factor, hell kobe blamed him and kick him out of the lakers once they lost the championship.



Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: March 6, 2012 1:44 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Short term memory is right. There have been plenty of times when players and teams try to collude their way into a championship (check the roster of the 2003-2004 Lakers for a better example). The thing is, they usually don't win it all (the Celtics were an exception and haven't won another), and, more important to note, they are so despised that almost no one wants to see them winning it all. Seems today is par for that course. No one likes a rigged game. No one likes to watch a foregone conclusion. What drives players to do this is the way players' legacies are weighted by the sports media and by the general public based on the number of championships they have won. If a great player happens to be on a terrible team that never achieves a championship, that is considered a huge blemish on his legacy. Therefore, players end up selling their souls to get that championship for the sake of their legacy. Is it fair? Is it the right thing to do?



Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 8:32 am
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

    Really? I thought Lebron joined Wade and Bosh to play for Miami and that is not superior help? Where did that get them? What a moronic comment by a loser. I remember Shaq riding the bench in the 4th quarter and Kobe closing out all the games even in the playoffs just ask San Antonio, Sacramento and Portland or look it up in the stats. You are blinded by ignorance. Kobe is greater than Lebroom and Dwaste.



Since: Mar 2, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:37 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

"Kobe is what seems like the last of a dying breed of NBA player that thrives when competing against the rest of the best in the NBA. Jordan, Bird, Magic... or any of the truly great players in history would never want to be on the same team as eachother because they loved that competition when playing against eachother.  Players like Wade, Bosh, and James just want to play together rather than compete which may be easier for them, but kind of sucks for the fans who enjoy rivalries."

Kobe was never part of that breed. Who did he have a rivalry with in any of his championships? None, not because he was good, but because he always had superior help more than any other nba superstar in history. Heck if I'm not mistaken, people were able to stop Kobe such as Paul Pierce in his way to the championship. Heck, Jeremy Lin, a nobody, took it upon himself to outplay Kobe and he did. In his first three chamionships, did Kobe rival Duncan? Did he do anything fantastic to oppress the opposing teams number one player? No Shaq was the barometer. In his runin with the Celtics and Magic what did he do that he had to stop the oposing player? Gasol/Bynum proved too much for Dwight and heck he had a poor 4th quarter when he beat the Celtics. And now we are making a big deal about his rivalry with Wade? Gimme a break, Durant won the west All Stars, Wade had a triple double, something Kobe never can do because he is a one dimensional scorer. And all of a sudden, Kobe is the best player in the planet. It is really funny.




Since: Dec 3, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:28 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

 Players like Wade, Bosh, and James just want to play together rather than compete which may be easier for them, but kind of sucks for the fans who enjoy rivalries

I think you may want to point the finger at the Celtics on that one.  They set the blueprint for a big 3, and no one in the East was going to get past them and that's why Lebron and Wade came together.  But I guess everyone has short term memory outside of South Beach.



Since: Dec 3, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:25 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

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.

I'm glad you love my comments, it's always self fulfilling getting good feedback from Lakers fans (sarcasm).



Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:49 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

Kobe is what seems like the last of a dying breed of NBA player that thrives when competing against the rest of the best in the NBA. Jordan, Bird, Magic... or any of the truly great players in history would never want to be on the same team as eachother because they loved that competition when playing against eachother.  Players like Wade, Bosh, and James just want to play together rather than compete which may be easier for them, but kind of sucks for the fans who enjoy rivalries.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 5:26 pm
 

Mamba strikes for revenge as Lakers top Heat

well i dont see other than beeing a ball hog did kobe do much for his team and be angry. luckily for the lakers, the rest of the team capitalized on the refs preferential treatment and the lack of size
The excuse making is just pathetic really -- Kobe shot no more than he usually does, and hit at a better than 50% clip despite what was actually pretty good defense on him most of the time (and when it wasn't -he was getting hit in the face several times with no call). great defense and he "didnt do much for his team"--um, okay then.  Not sure what game the Heat fans/Laker Haters were watching.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com