Boston Busts Up the Triangle in Game One

↵I have no idea what's going to happen to Boston when they go on the road. But that was probably the most thoroughly I've seen anyone mess up the triangle since this current Lakers team got up and running. In the second half, Kobe looked like the Kobe of old, in part because he had no system to work within in a calm, rational manner. When he briefly went off in the third, it was there. Otherwise, after the break, the Celtics completely dissolved it. ↵
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↵You could argue that Bryant gave up on the triangle, or his teammates, in the second half. And yes, to a certain degree, this system depends on Kobe's initiative. But keep in mind, he's learned that playing within it, and having teammates, makes life easier. He doesn't technically need the triangle to get buckets, but he plays better within it. He's more natural, relaxed, and easier to get along with. You've got to figure that, if he was forcing it, it was because following the usual plan just wasn't an option. Plus, it's not like forcing shots was working at all, which is usually at least good for something with the MVP. Not a good sign for the Lakers. ↵
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↵So that's the riddle for the Lakers to crack. Boston played superb defense on Kobe. The question is, can the triangle get up and running when he's locked down? Is this where Fisher or Odom steps up? It can't be Gasol, who for all his skill is very much dependent on the ball moving around correctly. Another option: Maybe Kobe wasn't defeated, and just relapsed. That's discouraging, but certainly more appealing for Lakers fans than the alternative.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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