2010 NBA Finals: Kobe Bryant Needs to Get to the Basket

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers will enter Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Finals tied 2-2. The winner of the game will take a commanding 3-2 series lead and force their opponent to play elimination games for the remainder of the Finals.

With an extra day of rest, the quality of play should be vastly superior to Game 4. If the Lakers win, they will go back home needing only one victory to claim their second straight championship. If the Celtics win, they will go west with all the momentum and look to close out the series in six games.

I know I've discussed this a lot over the course of the Finals, but Kobe Bryant really needs to drive the ball. Kobe is one of the best in the game at hitting contested jumpers, but that's still not a good shot.

If the Celtics were encouraging him to shoot by playing off him, I could understand him settling for the jump shot, but Boston hasn't given him any space and the only way Kobe will get room is by hurting the Celtics in the paint.

The biggest reason I love basketball is because it is a paradox.

Basketball is the one team sport where an individual player can have the biggest impact. Every fan knows the stories of how Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson would decide that they weren't going to lose.

Basketball is a sport that allows one player to take over a game and come dangerously close to single handedly winning the contest. (Remember Dwayne Wade against Dallas in the 2006 Finals? Or any of Jordan's Finals victories?)

At the same time, basketball is the quintessential team sport.

A single weak link can dash a team's championship dreams. Teams that win play in sync. Great players are great because they not only take over games, but make their teammates better. Every player on the court is important and will affect the game, whether positively or negatively.

In hockey the goalie has nothing to do with offense. In footb...

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