The Week 1 Over-Analyzation: Part 2
Hey, if you're gonna over-analyze something, you can't do it in one sitting.
And if the NBA makes an allowance continuation, so can I.
You can find my first installment here. And now, on with the show.
3. Josh Smith really doesn’t like dreadlocks
I really can’t do it much better than Jason Concepcion did for Grantland, so if you have a few minutes, check it out. In any event, I’ll still give you the lowdown.
Josh Smith likes to shoot threes. His entire career, he’s been shooting threes. This would be fine if Josh Smith didn’t happen to be particularly horrible at shooting threes. Teams know this, fans know this, and even unborn babies in their mother’s womb know this. Josh Smith will shoot threes. So what do opposing players do? They let him shoot!
Kenneth Faried said as much after their first game of the season, a game in which Faried played quite well and Josh Smith took exception by saying that he doesn’t respond to any NBA player who has dreadlocks, like Mr Faried ... or Mr Manimal, as I assume he might like to be called.
Well, the thing is, Josh, by going on a brief rant that won't respond to players like Faried …what you’ve done is … well, you’ve responded to him. Sorry to break it to you. Maybe you should consider not shooting threes and sticking to the two basketball skills you actually have: dunking and blocking shots.
4. Klay Thompson may have taken a step forward
I don’t know if it’s his play with Team USA this summer or his sudden excess of mone,y but Klay Thompson has been really, really good this year, making Golden State look übersmart in both extending and holding onto him rather than trading for Kevin Love.
At the time, I was under the impression that Klay wasn’t a max-contract guy and that the trade for Love might be worth it. But in the small sample of Week 1, Mychal's spawn has absolutely looked the part of a max guy. He’s always been able to shoot, but he’s taken his entire game to another level.
Thompson hasn’t yet played against a truly great defense yet, but in his three games, he’s averaging 29 points with a blistering 67% from the floor. Again, that has absolutely zero chance of maintaining, but you couldn’t ask for a much better start from Mr Klay Alexander Thompson.
5. Kobe might just be playing for the points record now
It’s hard for me to write about Kobe Bean Bryant because I’m quite biased against him. He takes terrible shots, he shoots too much, and he doesn’t care about either of those truths because he’s Kobe Bryant. Granted, he’s the only dude in the league who can make some of the shots he takes, but when you’re shooting 40% from the floor, is it really worth it?
I get that he hardly has a team around him that can score, and it puts extra pressure on him -- at least, that's his perception -- but Kobe launched 37 shots Tuesday night against the Suns. 37 shots! Sure, he scored 39 points, but wow. 37 shots.
He was 14-37 with 1 assist. Surprisingly, the Lakers came very close to winning this game, for which I'll give him credit, because it doesn’t seem there’s anyone else to give credit to, unless you want credit Byron Scott’s crossed arms.
Kobe is on a terrible team. I honestly think the only thing on his mind is climbing up the all-time points record list, where he currently sits at an impressive fourth behind Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He’ll pass Jordan this year to slide into third. He’d need another year-and-a-half of scoring at a decent clip to get to Malone. Kareem might be out of his reach at 38,387 points. As of 5 November, Kobe sits at 31,838. The most he's ever scored in a season was 2,832 in the 2005-06 season.
Kobe Bryant is definitely one of the greatest shooting guards of all time. He’s had an incredible career. I just have never really agreed with the way he plays the game.
Kobe shoots. It’s what he does.