After the Celtics’ 116-95 drubbing of the Lakers in Boston on Thursday night, Los Angeles was once again left searching for answers. They were outplayed in every facet of the game on Thursday, and the Celtics cruised past the Lakers on way to their sixth consecutive win.
A lot has been made of Kobe’s ball movement and teamwork over the past two weeks, and the success the team has had as a result. However, on Thursday Bryant didn’t record a single assist. But, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, head coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t putting the blame on Bryant for the goose egg in the box score.
“I think a lot of it is we missed a lot of shots,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said of Bryant’s donut in the assists category. “You don’t make shots, they’re packing it in [on defense] and that’s not Kobe’s fault.”
Bryant agreed with his coach, but did so in a way where he didn’t point fingers at the rest of the team. Instead, he used the term “we” and placed the blame on the team as a whole.
Added Bryant: “I made the plays that were there. We just didn’t make shots. I can’t get assists if we don’t make shots. We went 4-for-21 from 3. There’s not much you can do about that.”
As McMenamin also points out, the team actually finished 5-23 from 3-point range, but the point remains the same – if nobody can make a shot the Lakers aren’t going to be very successful whether Kobe moves the ball or not.
Los Angeles will have another opportunity Friday night when they face the Charlotte Bobcats in their final game before the showdown with the defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Sunday.