Kobe Bryant: We Are Not Losing This Game

Tom DeRiggiContributor IIMay 7, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the second quarter as referee Greg Willard calls a foul in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on May 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

For those waiting for a Kobe Bryant sighting in these 2009 NBA Playoffs, look no further.

I had been waiting all through the first round and the start of this second round for the Lakers—and mainly, Kobe Bryant—to show me what all the fuss is about over their team.

Deemed as the Western Conference champions before the playoffs even started, they had played very lethargic, lackadaisical basketball with no real sense of urgency.

Hellooo? This is the NBA Playoffs. The end of the road.

And now the Lakers were playing with a swagger that did not warrant them the pre-conceived title of consensus "Western Conference Champs."

However, last night changed that all.

This all changed because of one player, arguably the world's best, who decided it was time to start playing Kobe-basketball. Last night Bryant decided that he was going into "We're Not Losing this Game" mode. Mr. Bryant dropped 40 points on the Houston Rockets in Game Two

It is not like we have not seen him score like this in the playoffs before. It is the way that he was scoring that may have changed the fate of the rest of the Western Conference's competitors. Kobe was hitting fallaways, dunking, driving to the hoop, knocking down threes, draining shots with Shane Battier right in his face, and even throwing himself passes to score.

In a nutshell, Kobe was unguardable. Shane Battier is one of, if not, the best perimeter defenders in the league, as well as Ron Artest. Neither seemed able to prevent Bryant from doing his job last night.

In a game that had two ejections and roughly three or four technicals and flagrants, Kobe still managed to keep his composure and just hit shot after shot.

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Battier and Artest are both pit bulls, in the words of Kenny Smith of TNT. They are the perfect type of defender for guys like Kobe. They play physical and make life hard on Bryant and other premier shooters.

However, last night was just further proof that a truly great scorer will ALWAYS beat impeccable defense. It is just the nature of the game.

Battier, Artest, and company played impeccable defense on Kobe all game, yet they could not hold Kobe in check because he just knows how to will his team to victory. He scores when he has to, he facilitates when he has to, and when it is time to get a must win (and this kills me, because I have a man-crush on LeBron) Kobe is your guy to get that win.

I'm going to try a new segment that I know some of my friends will appreciate. I am an avid hip-hop fan and listen to new music daily. So I'm going to start throwing up some of my favorite lines of current songs and some all-time greats.

If you enjoy hip-hop you might enjoy this part of the segment. Haven't thought of the name yet, but I'll just peep Baseball Tonight's swag and call it America's favorite running segment.

This is off the new Jadakiss Album on the song called "What If"

"What if B.I.G. missed the party, what if 'Pac missed the fight?
What if you was caged in?
What would you change then?
What if there was no Rocafella law for +Made Men+?
What if hate ran through me?
And what if Portland
Would've drafted Jordan
Instead of Sam Bowie? <---------WOWWW

Just a quick wrap-up of my opinion of the playoffs so far.

How odd was the Hawks-Heat series? I mean seriously, every game was won by more than 10 points, but it went seven games. Dwyane Wade tanked that last game because he didn't want to get embarrassed by the Cleveland LeBrons.

I was really pulling for the Bulls, man. I wanted my Bulls to be back, but they'll have to wait till next year. I'm already giddy at the fact that they might actually play small ball and run the entire year next year instead of just the playoffs.

Denver is on an absolute tear. They do everything. They have guys that can score, defend, rebound, play physical, get in your face, provide energy—and most of all, they have a bona fide leader in Chauncey Billups. I don't know how I missed them when I was predicting the playoffs.  They are dirty.

Breaking news as I am writing this: Manny Ramirez suspended 50 games for taking PED's. I may or may not write on this, considering I hate writing about steroids. Stay tuned.


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