Even in the games the Lakers win there never seems to be an end to the drama. In the team’s dramatic victory over their long-time rivals on Sunday, the Lakers scored on a key possession late in the game to put them ahead by three, which would ultimately be the final score.
Their last score came courtesy of Andrew Bynum, who got the ball in the paint and laid it in the basket for the final points of the game.
However, after the game, Kobe Bryant revealed to reporters that that wasn’t the play head coach Mike Brown was looking for following the team’s final timeout.
“I told him, ‘We’re going to come to you. We’re not going to do this play right here, we’re going come to you, post you. Be strong. If they come and double, make the easy play. If they don’t, do what you do.'”
There are several ways to take this if you’re the Lakers. First of all, the team did end up making the right play, and Bynum rewarded Bryant’s faith by scoring in crunch time. Bynum has been looking to earn more late-game opportunities lately, and this has a chance to be a major moment in his development.
On the other hand, Bryant’s blatant disregard for Brown’s decision does seem somewhat alarming, especially with rumors swirling around Los Angeles that the team is unhappy with some of Brown’s coaching techniques.
Still, players call their own plays on the floor very often, and knowing Mike Brown he will be one of the first to admit that the team made the right decision.
For now, we’ll focus on the positive aspect of the play. That, of course, is the continuing emergence of Bynum.
“It’s big for him because that’s the first time we’ve ever trusted him in that situation,” said Bryant. “He was excited to be in that position. It was just a good moment…It will do wonders for his confidence. He’s been getting better and better every game. To come through in the clutch against a great defensive player like [Kevin] Garnett, it’s really going to give him a great boost.”*
No argument here. If you missed the video of Bynum’s late bucket, the video is below.