Kobe Bryant is undoubtedly the game's best player and its most lethal assasin. He's proven that in the regular season and now he's once again proving it in the playoffs at the expense of the Denver Nuggets.
Kobe averaged 28.3 PPG in the regular season and he's almost doubled that in their series.
Denver attempted to play a series of zones and got dissected by floor general #24.
Here is a list of all players that were assigned the unaccomplishable task of guarding the league's great :
Kenyon Martin PF
Linas Kleiza SF
Eduardo Najera SF
Carmelo Anthony SF
Marcus Camby C
J.R. Smith SG
With Kenyon Martin defending, it was bound to happen. No way should Karl have had Kenyon defending; a player who's had several possible career ending knee surgeries, certainly career changing. Bryant went 12-13 from the field and finished second in Lakers history in points in the first quarter in a playoff game, behind Elgin Baylor (22).
Kobe decided to beat the Nuggets another way, by using ball movement to deliver heat seekers to teammates when being defended by Linas Kleiza; who hyper extended his elbow in the 2nd quarter of Game 2 and was in no shape or position to be defending anyone, let alone the NBA’s best player.
3 points 1 assist
Black Mamba used savage crossovers to work over Eduardo Najera and delivered daggers into George Karl’s heart and Denver fans all over the West Coast
5 points 4 assists
Versus Carmelo Anthony, Bryant used his elusiveness and his speed to get away from the sluggish forward who's capability on the defensive end seems non-existent.
Bryant used his wits against J.R. Smith and frustrated the young buck who hasn't learned how to get in fromt of a defender either.
19 points 3 assists
The end result, 49 points, 10 assists, on 66.6 % FG shooting.
What will stop Kobe?
The answer, himself
Or Ron Artest like I mentioned
Kobe has averaged 40.5 PPG in the series (81 total), and created numerous oppurtunities for Pau Gasol, Luke Walton, Sasha Vujajic, and Derek Fisher.
If Denver wants to have at least a shot at advancing to the next roud, they'tr going to have to do something to immobilize Kobe Bryant.