The bad Lakers played the occasionally less bad but somehow no less depressing Rockets last night in Los Angeles. I know, I know: Buhhhhh. But hey, Kobe Bryant did something!
In the third quarter, in sorta semi-transition (the way the Rockets are playing these days, it’s never really not transition), Kobe caught a pass at the top of the key with a sleepwalking Trevor Ariza shambling toward him, as though Kobe Bryant shooting an above-the-break three-pointer with 18 seconds left on the shot clock is a bad outcome for a defense in 2015. That was a mistake! The body might be worn down, the reflexes might not be what they used to be, the joints might squeal like the brakes on a city bus, the entire basketball-viewing world might be horrified and saddened by the ongoing spectacle ... but the hoops IQ is as sharp as ever, and Kobe Bryant knows what the hell to do against a sloppily closing defender with no help behind him. He put the ball on the floor, drove by Ariza, maybe didn’t quite knife into the lane but at least rubber-spatula’d there, and did this to a late-rotating Clint Capela:
Holy smokes! Loogit that old man throwin’ it down! Don’t let the hairline fool you, young buck—those old legs still have some bounce in ’em when they need to! Hoo boy! Thirty-seven years old, a billion miles on the odometer, and still putting these whippersnappers on posters.
If only Steph Curry had those kind of ups. Man.