Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kobe's Tweets and My Game 2 Thoughts

Apologies for the brief hiatus. I left my computer cord at a school this weekend and I'm waiting to get it back. Til then, I've been borrowing charges from friends when I can. On to the thoughts.

I guess I'm in a minority of thought that seeing Kobe Bryant tweet his thoughts during Game 1 of the Lakers-Spurs series wasn't a problem. NFL players do it often during the playoffs and I've seen Jordan Hill tweet during Lakers games in the season. But since it's the playoffs, every little thing gets magnified.

Since my comp was down, I barely noticed the tweets except for ABC mentioning them. Did I care what Kobe was tweeting? Not really because I know he'd be saying it on the sidelines. This is a guy who lives and breathes hoops. His IQ is sharp and his insight should be valued. Especially since Kobe has been so guarded with his thoughts/methods.

Alas, it became a bigger story than it should have. Mike D'Antoni was stupidly asked that question by the media (like he has time to check Twitter during a game) and he bristled at it. For once, I side with the coach I love to needle. He has every right to feel that way and I think it's a stupid, gossipy type of question.
That said, what makes what Kobe said any different than a beat writer, hoops analyst or well-educated fan who knows the game. As long as he doesn't undermine the team, he doesn't become a distraction unless we the public or media make it one. He also shouldn't just be a public cheerleader because that'd insult what he can bring to Twitter.

Too often we want our athletes to not be this but yet, we restrict them when they aren't. Can't have it both ways, folks.
Nothing is worse than following an athlete who brings nothing cool to Twitter. I've been on for four years and I barely follow athletes cause I find them boring. If we overreact to athletes tweeting games they aren't playing in, then we're robbing ourselves of great insight and going to be stuck with boring tweets to go along with boring interviews, press conferences, sideline reporting.

Kobe going dark from live tweeting is a shame - more a shame on a hypersensitive media who has to make this a negative story instead of trump how good it is. How dare we say he can't do what we do nightly and not trust him to be careful or wise with his words?

I don't think the Lakers are worried about what Kobe's thinking (and they aren't). They have bigger things to think about. Which leads me to my Game 2 adjustments, which don't include hoping Steve Nash is healthy because clearly he's hampered. Although hearing that Jordan Hill might suit up could be a huge boost for energy reasons.

This game will be completely on if Mike D'Antoni is worthy of me calling him by his full name. The Lakers looked lost on offense and defense in Game 1.
1. Go. To. The. POST!!! You have two big men who know how to play together. Pau Gasol is the best low-post player the Lakers have and he deserves to work against Tim Duncan in the paint. Plus the Lakers are settling for too many jumpers and that won't work when guys can't create their own shot.

2. The Lakers have perimeter defense issues. It's worse when they let guys hit open shots and the Spurs have too many good shooters led by Manu Ginobli. It might help them to communicate better and limit easy shots. I'd say just guard Ginobli but that's too much to ask.

3. Earl Clark needs to show up in Game 2. He's the most effective young Laker besides Dwight Howard and he has to find a way to get rebounds and easy shots. Role players struggle on the road but because he's a potential matchup advantage, he has to be a factor.

The Lakers stayed in Game 1 until midway through the 3rd quarter. I figured Game 2 was the one they needed to win to have any chance. It's all depending if Mike D'Antoni can do something I've called him out on - making proper adjustments.

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