Posts Tagged ‘Orlando Magic

03
Sep
12

Kobe Bryant’s Best and Worst Playoff Series (Part 2)

In order to fully appreciate a player from a historical standpoint, one has to embrace both the highs and the lows of his career.

When it comes to Kobe, a player who entered the NBA as an 18 year old and has since entered the ‘top 5 ever’ discussions, looking at the highs and the lows is not only entertaining – it’s essential.

In Part 1, we looked at Kobe’s 5 WORST Playoff series. For Part 2, here’s a ranking of Kobe’s 5 BEST Playoff series:

5. Playoffs 2008 2nd Round vs. the Utah Jazz: 33.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 7.2 apg.

  • Before Game 2 of this series, David Stern handed Kobe’s his first (and so far, only one) regular season MVP Award. In all 6 games, Kobe demonstrated why he was the best and most valuable player in the league. The Lakers won in 6 games, and went on to face the Spurs in the WCF.

4. Playoffs 2009 NBA Finals vs. the Orlando Magic: 32.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 5.6 apg.

  • This is still Kobe’s best Finals series, in which he cemented his legacy and finally proved that he can “win a ring without Shaq,” something that idiots had been using to argue against Kobe’s legacy ever since LA traded Shaq to the Miami Heat.

3. Playoffs 2001 Western Conference SemiFinals vs. the Sacramento Kings: 35.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 4.3 apg.

  • Many people forget that LA’s best player in the 2001 Playoffs (up until the Finals) was not Shaq. Kobe dominated throughout the whole series, and he saved his best for last: 48 points & 16 rebounds in Game 4 to complete the sweep and move on to the WCF. In my opinion, that game is still Kobe’s best Playoff performance.

2. Playoffs 2001 Western Conference Finals vs. the San Antonio Spurs: 33.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 7.0 apg.

  • The whole 2001 Playoffs was Kobe’s coming out party. He completely demolished the team with the best record in the league, and carried the Lakers to the NBA Finals. He played so well that Shaq called him “the best player in the world” and “my idol” in press conferences between games.

1. Playoffs 2010 Western Conference Finals vs. the Phoenix Suns: 33.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 8.3 apg.

  • Kobe’s performance in this series was nothing short of brilliant. His averages, his efficiency (.521 FG%, .432 3FG%, .881 FT%), his clutchness, and the amount of ridiculous shots he hit were all off the charts. In a way, it was a payback for the 2 First Round losses by the Suns in 2006 and 2007.

Honorable mention (chronological order):

  • the 2008 First Round vs. the Denver Nuggets: 33.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.3 apg.
  • the 2009 Western Conference Finals vs. the Denver Nuggets: 34.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 6.2 apg.
  • the 2010 Western Conference SemiFinals vs. the Utah Jazz: 32.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.8 apg.

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These series are a true reflection on Kobe’s greatness, work ethic and longevity – his greatest series span anywhere from 2001 to 2010, which a LONG time for a basketball player.

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16
Apr
11

2011 Eastern conference nba playoffs 1st round predictions

1.Chicago vs. 8.Indiana

The Bulls are everyone’s chic pick to reach the finals and with good reason. Derrick Rose and company committed to  playing defense at a championship level on a nightly basis with new coach Tom Thibodeau. They were rewarded with the best record in the NBA and what most would say is a favorable side of the eastern conference bracket.

I don’t believe this will be a sweep but the Pacers will have to hit on all cylinders to extend this series to 6, I don’t see that happening.

Bulls in 5.

2.Miami vs 7.Philadelphia

LeBron James and Dywane Wade are two of the greatest playoff performers in this era. They have carried teams further than a normal star could  have taken them.  They are elite and they are together for their first championship run. Miami’s main problem is the performance of the role players, in the playoffs the spotlight increases but the rotation decreases. The Heat have had problems with lulls in the middle of games when their three stars are not on the floor at same time. All three should be on the floor 45 minutes plus throughout the playoffs and that should be enough for the Heat to coast.

Heat in 5

3.Boston vs 6.New York

The marquee match up of the first round in the east.  The star power and offensive prowess of the Knicks versus the veteran championship experience of the Celtics. I’m not nearly as high on Carmelo Anthony as most. I think he is a ball stopping high volume shooter that will never lead a team to the finals, but even with that said there is no doubt that the Knicks are a better team with him.  I think his streaky shooting will keep the Knicks in it and eventually kick them out.

Celtics in 6.

4.Orlando vs 5.Atlanta

How much do regular season matchups matter? The way you answer that question has everything to do with who you believe will win this series. The Hawks took the season series 3 to 1, and were 2 -0 against the post trade Magic.  In these wins the Hawks did a wonderful job in neutralizing Dwight and making the supporting parts beat them, and when the threes aren’t falling for the Magic they wont win.Conventional wisdom says the Hawks win but everyone saw the #beatemdown the Magic layed on the Hawks last year. I believe they not only took that playoff series but the psychological edge, and that is what wins this series. The Hawks are a mentally weak team in search of a heart(the worst thing I can say about my favorite team) and that will do them in.

Magic in 7.





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