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If Pau’s on his game, Bynum’s going to see a lot of the ball and the Lakers are going to dominate inside.
If they’re both playing well, the Hornets (or the Thunder, Spurs, Heat, etc.) are going to have to bring in somebody else to try to slow them down.
This is going to leave somebody open on the perimeter.
The Lakers aren’t exactly a great three-point shooting team; of their players who have taken more than seven threes, only Fisher (39.6%), Lamar Odom (38.2%), and Steve Blake (37.8%) are good three-point shooters.
Still, if the other team leaves Fisher, Odom, or Artest (35.6% from three) wide open, they’re going to make plenty of threes.
The more pressing concern for whoever happens to be facing the Lakers is, naturally, Kobe Bryant.
Kobe is one of the greatest players ever, and remains one of the best players in the league. He is still arguably the NBA’s most deadly scorer.
If his opponents leave Kobe open for even a second, or if he sees a hole in the defense, or if his defender looks away for an instant, Kobe is sinking a shot.
We’re talking about a guy who makes the impossible look regular. Even when his teammates are playing badly and forcing him to take a bunch of bad looks (like in Game 1 versus the Hornets), Kobe still manages to make a lot of shots (13-26), score a pile of points (34), and carry his team within an inch of the finish line.
If the defense is focused on stopping the Gasol-Bynum show inside, Kobe is going to have nice, open looks, and he’s going to make them.
Perhaps more importantly, if he doesn’t, he won’t have to take them. If Kobe has the ball and Gasol is making his shots, Kobe will gladly give him the rock.
Remember, Kobe is only a ballhog in three situations: If his best teammates are Kwame Brown and Smush Parker, if it’s the end of the game and the score is close, and if his teammates aren’t performing.
Kobe has good teammates now, and if they're playing well, he will pass the ball.