Kobe Bryant has been there. He’s played Atlas with the Lakers world on his shoulders. Dude carried a team that started Smush Parker and Kwame Brown to the playoffs. That, frankly, was his MVP year.
He looks at Dwyane Wade and understands.
“He had 14 assists, but there’s still too much on him,” Bryant said after Wade did it all – 27 points and 14 assists – in Miami’s 114-111 overtime victory over the Lakers. “He literally had to make every play, had to try to penetrate and pitch in. That can wear you down. So hopefully, he’ll get somebody who can step up and make plays and give him a couple of plays off.”
It’s true. It’s ironic, but it’s true.
The irony is in how the game ended. Why the Heat won. It’s because Wade trusted his teammates. The guys who don’t provide enough help. On one key play late, when the double came Wade kicked it out to Quentin Richardson for a three that he drained. The Heat kept running plays — plays designed to get Wade the rock, but plays with teammates involved — through the end of the game.
Kobe just dominated the ball from the five-minute mark of regulation through the end of the game. He has players who can help, but they were ignored. If other teammates were involved it was mostly just to set a pick for Kobe or get a rebound. The triangle offense was abandoned, Kobe tried to take over (and did for a while, but it caught up with him).
This game was not like most others for these teams — Kobe normally gets plenty of help from Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum or Ron Artest or Andrew Bynum or… you get the idea. Wade rarely gets Richardson hitting seven threes. Never really. Most night’s Kobe’s statement rings true. But after last night it was ironic.