Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lakers Formula of Success: Kobe must share the ball

Lakers Formula of Success: Kobe must share the ball Not too late to find the right formula. The Los Angeles Lakers quest for the answer to be a winning team has arrived. Winning two games in a row against Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was not luck at all but it's something that they found. What's the key of the Lakers two consecutive wins? Believe it or not, it's Kobe Bryant sharing the ball to his teammates. Bryant had 14 assists in each of his two games and that he was just short of a rebound for triple double. What transpired was that Kobe has created a way for his teammates to be happy that carried it into defense. Look, the Lakers have been playing a sloppy defense but when Bryant shares, the defense is inspired. Against the Oklahoma Thunder, Bryant had 21 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds while five of his teammates were in double figures in scoring. Steve Nash had 17 points to help the Lakers in overpowering the Thunder. Also adding up in the offense is Metta World Peace who enjoys getting the ball from Bryant outside the arc. What needs to be done for the Lakers to keep the momentum alive and to be back in the contention for the playoffs? Remember that the Lakers are just 19-25, way far from a playoff team. One of the obvious move of coach Mike D'Antoni is moving Pau Gasol out of the starter so that the Lakers have something to play for when a substitution is needed. In the previous games, Gasol has been effective so far. It's like Lamar Odom's role with Phil Jackson before. Though Gasol is not that amenable coming off the bench, he has to sacrifice for his team. The big problem for the Lakers right now is Dwight Howard's free throw shooting. Against Oklahoma, because of 2-for-10 in the line, Howard was benched in the crucial stage in the fourth quarter and he was not seen back. D'Antoni was worried that the opponent could exploit Howard's inability to make free throws. The Lakers will make the playoffs if Kobe has to look for the pass first. He has to be like Magic Johnson in this important stage of his career than being Michael Jordan.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Super Bowl 47 Countdown: Ravens vs 49ers

Just missed posting the NFL Playoffs, well, we have with us the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl 47. It was difficult to fathom how these two teams got there!

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers then it was followed by a nerve-jangling game against the Atlanta Falcons. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens have a tough playoff games as they routed Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos, and finally the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots. Certainly, the Ravens and 49ers were in the Conference Finals last season but they failed to get there. Thus, this is the time for these two teams to be in the biggest sports game, The Super Bowl.

Colin Kaepernick has been the biggest revelation for the San Francisco 49ers. His arm and his legs were his main assets in overpowering the Packers while he led the Niners in outsmarting Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Joe Flacco also did his job in throwing the right passes at the right time, especially against the Broncos and last week against the Patriots.

With the quarterbacks in front of the Super Bowl 47, it is important to understand that the defense is still the key for the Ravens and 49ers for their different successes. Both have the same mindset that the primary reason of winning in the playoffs is the defense. The vaunted defense for the 49ers will have to stifle Flacco's offense. On the other hand, Baltimore has to stop Kaepernick's passing and running threats.

Super Bowl 47 will absolutely be about defense but it is not surprising at all if it will be an offensive game.