Game 1 Analysis: Defending the Best

Kobe Bryant, is arguebly the best player in the game right now. He was dissatisfied with the end result of last year’s NBA Finals matchup with the Celtics, as the Boston won the series much in part to the help of their big 3. This time, Kobe is back and is hungry for more.

Going into game one, the Lakers were the heavy favorite among experts, while the Magic were a suprise team, as many thought the finals would be a Lebron versus Kobe matchup. It is a challenge to defend the best in the game and the Magic had alot of trouble last night. Michael Pietrus was supposed to be the defensive stopper, but Kobe made him look flat out bad. When rookie guard Courtney Lee had to defend Kobe, it didnt work. The Magic need to tighten up their defense if they want to defend Kobe. There are several possible ways for the Magic to limit Kobe.

The 1st option would be to double team him. Hedo Turkoglu and Pietrus would make an effective double team and prevent Kobe from driving the ball to the hoop. Once the option of the dribble and drive was gone, that would force Kobe to either pass or shoot the three. If he were to shoot the 3 ball, Turkoglu would be able to defend that well using his height advantage aganist Kobe. If Kobe passes the ball, look for Dwight Howard to rotate over and be the defensive stopper.

A second option would be to defend Kobe using a box and 1 defense. If the Magic were to single out Kobe and rotate which player shadowed him that defensive setting could be effective. If the Magic rotated players every 5 minutes on Kobe, they might be able to stop him. If I were Stan Van Gundy, I would most often rotate in Turkoglu, Pietrus and Nelson aganist Kobe.

If the Magic can learn how to defend Kobe effectivly, they might be able to steal this series from the Lakers.

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