As the old adage goes, “You can’t hate what you can’t see.”
After falling behind by 16 early in the third quarter, a hobbled Los Angeles roster managed to make a go of it, coming within two baskets of Miami late in the fourth quarter. Defensive breakdowns allowed Miami to fend off the late surge, however, and the Lakers’ cumulative ineptitude guarding the basket drove the Black Mamba to hide his face in frustration.
Kobe simply couldn't handle it anymore and broke out what may be his most monolithic facepalm to date.
This is a man who wants nothing more than a semblance—a veneer!—of defensive aptitude. That wasn’t in the cards for the Lakers last night, as they allowed the Heat to run amok Benny Hill-style into their interior defense.
Take Norris Coles’ wild, barnyard runaround, for example.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni expressed hope for the team's offense, but stated things had to change from a defensive standpoint.
"We'll find a way to score," D'Antoni told Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. "Our problem is defense."
The Heat shot an efficient 57.7 percent from the field, which is the kind of statistic that will drive Kobe to head-butt shelter dogs. Until he recovers from his leg injury, they’ll be nothing for him to do but sit by and cover his face as opponents chop through the Lakers defense like sponge cake.
Granted, this wasn’t the first Kobe facepalm, and it certainly won’t be the last.
On the bright side, the team heads to Orlando to play the cellar-dwelling Magic at 7 p.m. ET on Friday night. If the Lakers can pull out a W (and Gasol can avoid being featured on a Victor Oladipo poster), we might see a happier Kobe on the bench.
No Kobe, no cry.