Marco Belinelli, SG Bulls: C
Consider this one a gift, Marco.
Entering this game, I was wondering if Belinelli shouldn't be the permanent starter for Chicago. He's an adequate defender, sound passer and can often shoot the lights out of an arena.
Here, he just shot the life out of my optimism.
Belinelli scored 11 points on just 5-of-15 shooting and was unable to get in any sort of rhythm. Most, if not all, of his shots lacked rotation, and he wasn't attacking the rim as much as he needs to.
He dished out four assists and played some decent perimeter defense (two steals, nice laterals, etc.), but that just wasn't enough to offset a poor shooting performance. Especially when the Bulls needed him to score more than anything else.
Kobe Bryant, SG Lakers: A-
Even when Kobe Bryant's seemingly off, he's on.
The Black Mamba finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and two steals on 7-of-16 shooting from the floor.
Admittedly, said point total seems a bit underwhelming for Kobe, who has been on a scoring tear as of late, but his passes were incisive and just magnificent. I'd hazard he would have neared 15 assists had Metta World Peace and company converted on more of his drive-and-kicks.
As has become the norm, Bryant flirted with a triple-double and continued to embody the fountain of youth he has come to represent.
I would have liked to have seen Bryant shoot a touch more through the first three quarters, but hey, now I'm grasping at straws.
This was another nice performance by Kobe.