Celtics vs. Lakers 2010: Breaking Down Kobe Bryant’s Bad Shooting Night

It was Game Seven of the NBA Finals featuring the best rivalry in the league (both historically and in modern day), the best player in the world, and intriguing subplots loaded with vindication and legacy.

And Kobe Bryant had one of the worst playoff performances of his career.

Just when we were expecting a signature Bryant game, or at least a signature Bryant shot that would be saved, nicknamed, and replayed until it became embedded in sports lore, what we got instead was 18 bricks (including 0-for-6 from beyond the arc) and four turnovers.


Fortunately for Bryant, his supporting cast starred this evening, and they protected him from a summer of LeBron-like backlash.

Not that he wasn't without critics.

The lovable and unlikable Bill Simmons on ESPN.com wrote, "Gotta hand it to LA: tougher down the stretch and survived an epic stink bomb from Kobe. If you can win a game when your best guy goes 6-for-24, that's pretty good. As for Kobe's legacy... I think it took a hit tonight."

Michael Jordan's son got into the mix with a scalding tweet during the game.

"Marcus Jordan's tweet: NO ONE...And I mean NO ONE should EVER com par kobe Bryant to my dad an say that he is anywhere near close to my dad He's jagging this game"

(Yeah, I know, Bryant's game was bad but at least his daughters can spell better than that.)

And yet, the Lakers did win. Let's examine what Bryant did right last night:

1) Bryant missed 18 shots, but not all of them were bad looks. Some of them were last-second, "bail me out, Kobe!" passes from teammates. Some of them rattled out. And some of them were simply dreadful "the horror, oh the horror" type of shots. But he did calm it down in the second half, his shot just wasn't falling.

If he had made just half of the Js he normally does, his percentage would be right back in the low-40s, which is normal ...

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