Does Kobe Shrink vs. The Celtics?
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Bob Neumeier joined Felger and Massarotti on today’s show. The guys discussed some of their top curiosities going forward in the NBA Finals. For Felger, it’s whether or not Kobe will have that signature, career defining game vs. the Celtics.
In this series, Kobe Bryant has 4 total points in 54 possessions when guarded by Tony Allen or Rajon Rondo. Kobe had 30 points in a game 1 win and only 21 points in a game 2 loss after being plagued by foul trouble.
Felger is seeing a trend with Kobe Bryant against the Celtics dating back to the last time these 2 teams met in the Finals.
Felger: “Don’t we know by now that they match up well against singular, superstar players? It seems to me that they’ve defended him [Kobe] with Ray Allen, they’ve defended him with Posey, they’ve defended him with Pierce. You’re telling me they’ve defended him with Tony Allen and now Rajon Rondo. It seems like everyone has had a measure of success against him in these championship games. Don’t tell me this isn’t a storyline or that this isn’t a developing trend in this series and I do take it back to ’08″.
Bob Neumeier disagrees with Felger and thinks Kobe has been fine. He had this to say…
Bob Neumeier: “They’re [Lakers] playing the premiere defensive team in basketball. It’s not like he’s folding up into an accordion. I think it’s worth watching, yeah. I thought Kobe was terrific in game 1. I expect him to come out of the gates barreling in this game, he’s going to be fresh. Some guys have a quiet efficiency about scoring points and maybe it’s because we expect them to. It’s worth following. I’m not totally diffusing this, but I think that you’re[Felger] maybe jumping to a level that’s not quite there yet”.
In talking about the rest of the series, Tony Mazz said that he would like to see more offensive diversity from the Celtics.
Massarotti: ” I want to see more diversity in the offense. That’s what I want to see. I am reasonably confident that they can play good defense against the Lakers. I think they can play good defense against everybody. What I am worried about is that they’re going to have difficulty scoring when the Lakers amp it up. [Ray] Allen had to go off in game 2 in order for them to be able to get some consistency in the offense in the 1st half. I don’t want to see it all come from the backcourt. They need to get some offense out of their frontcourt if they’re going to win this series”.