Monday, March 5, 2012

Kobe vs D-Wade: The Aftermath

     Yesterday's Heat vs Lakers game was one of the rare occasions where LeBron James wasn't the center of attention against Kobe Bryant. In lieu of the hard foul that transformed Kobe into the Masked Mamba, and the fact that Kobe, who had been rolling for two straight games, had the opportunity to extend his team's winning streak against the 28-8 Miami Heat, this was a statement game. Many were curious to see what kind of revenge Bryant would seek against Wade, or even better yet if that foul committed during the All star game could spark up some toughness in the Lakers against the dominant Miami team. All these factors played a role in making this a statement game, but more than anything, this presented the opportunity for D-Wade to prove that perhaps he belonged in the same breathe as the likes of a Kobe Bryant. Unfortunately for Wade, he was unable to make that statement.
     This game was Wade's opportunity to make a case that he could be considered the best shooting guard in the league at this point of his career, and there was no better way to do so than to shine against the reigning best shooting guard, and arguably the best player period. The way the game started proved that Wade, despite his elite status, has a long way to go. Kobe started the game hot, Wade didn't; Kobe made things tough on the defensive end, Wade didn't. Kobe was calm and consistent throughout the whole game, Wade was sporadic and eventually lost his composure. It was a perfect case of student getting schooled, early and often by the tutor; the tutor in this case being Kobe. Kobe proved that even though he is in his 16th season, he was gonna hold his own against the 9th year veteran whom many claim to be the only competition Bryant has at the shooting guard position. Yesterday however, kobe made his own statement; that Wade was no competition.
     Wade's inability to at least keep up with Bryant, in what was suppose to be a matchup of "Wade vs Kobe; the revenge of the All-star game foul" proved that Kobe was leaps and bounds ahead of Wade. I was disappointed that Wade allowed Kobe to get off to a hot start, I was disappointed that he let this hot start proceed to become a great game, I was disappointed that he let this frustration lead to him committing silly fouls, but more importantly, I was disappointed that he didn't go up to Coach Spolstera and demand to guard Kobe in the fourth quarter before fouling out. That to me showed that Wade was accepting that he couldn't in fact guard Kobe, and that he was willing to give up and let somebody else try. That to me was the ultimate victory for Kobe.
     As Wade sat on the bench with a towel wrapped around his head and six fouls in the book, I bet he thought of all these things. The loss was more than just loss number 9 for the Miami Heat, it was an individual failure on Wade's part. The final score indicated that the heat lost by 10, but in terms of an individual matchup, it was much more than that. Kobe had gotten a revenge on Wade for that hard foul, and he didn't even need physical retaliation for that. He let his game do the talking, and it sure did say a lot. It proved that Wade was not quite on Kobe's level yet, it proved that the Wade's mental toughness was lacking a bit in comparison to that of Kobe's, it proved that despite Wade's great abilities as a help defender, he had a lot of improvement to do one-on-one, and finally it proved that the title as the best shooting guard in the league was quite possibly only gonna be passed down to Wade upon Kobe's retirement. Wade's reaction to this occurrence is what I'm interested to see. I hope he uses this as motivation to take his game to that Kobe Bryant level, because it evidently isn't quite there yet.

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12 comments:

  1. Well written. Keep up the good work.

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    1. That was one of the worst and most biased articles I have ever read...The Heat are the best team in the NBA, period...In a 7-game series, it will be virtually impossible for Kobe and the Lakers to beat Miami in a 7-game series....The Heat have 3 of the best players in the NBA in their PRIME...Wade didn't have a good game, but if these two teams meet in the NBA finals, it will be the Heat in 5 games...or a sweep...Kobe is past his prime...still great...but Wade is right there with him...Kobe takes way more shots than Wade...and doesn't pass or play defense as good as Wade...

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    2. I find it funny that you consider that a biased article, considering I'm a heat fan. Nowhere in there did I mention that the Lakers would beat the Heat in a playoff series? All I'm saying is that Wade got outplayed in what was suppose to be a statement game for him individually. Don't put words in my mouth.

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    3. Ok..sorry if I put words in your mouth...but Wade just had a bad game...but Wade can play with anyone in this league...to say that Wade got schooled is ridiculous...If Artest didn't have such a good game, Miami easily could have won this game...if Bosh would've played, again Miami probably wins....Miami had to play this game after a tough loss in "high-altitude" Utah...Kobe is a gamer...and a superstar...but Wade is right there with him...all I'm saying is that one game doesn't prove anything...

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    4. I agree that Wade had a bad game, it's just unfortunate that it occurred when going against the only player who is ahead of him at his position. That doesn't change the fact that he got schooled. He couldn't contain Kobe, nor match his impact, therefore he got schooled. I'm a huge Wade fan, I'm just disappointed that he didn't go at Kobe to prove that he could hang with him. As far as yesterday's performance goes, he can't. I'm not gonna make excuses for him, I wanna challenge my favorite players to step up to the plate when it's time to do so.

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    5. Wade doesn't have the ball in his hands enough to dominate like Kobe does...Wade defers to his teammates a lot more than Kobe ...the Heat are going to win multiple championships with this awesome trio...and it won't really matter whether Wade is getting "schooled" by someone...he's much more of a team player than Kobe...I just don't think Wade has to prove anything to anyone...and I really hope these 2 teams meet up in the finals...Wade will prove you wrong

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    6. Wade doesn't HAVE to prove anything but if he wants to then he's gotta step up when playing Kobe. I'm not saying for Wade to hog the ball and shoot it every time, I expect him to play better than he usually does, or at least play at the same level he usually does, which wasn't the case yesterday. Kobe had more points, but was also much more efficient from the field. But to each his own.

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  2. This article is absurd at best. The heat could have easily won that game despite the great game by Kobe. neither Wade or LeBron or the rest of the team made any great effort. It was a smart move by the BIG 2 to drop this game and make it look like Kobe and the Lakers were better. This way the BS controversy about an allstar game foul that was just a typical "grab the guy to keep him from making a shot when you are beat" foul will just die. Otherwise all the talking heads like this one would have kept it going as long as was done about the "decision" which was utterly stupid to make such a big deal out of in a negative way for LeBron.

    Kobe is a great player and Wade is as well. Wade is the only real competition at the spot. If Wade were to really decide to show everyone it would not matter just as it did not when he came back from injury and was obviously the best player that whole year. He shoud have won the allstar MVP and the league MVP that year but look at how the "talking heads" gave it to LeBron that year . But i digress :)

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    1. "neither Wade or LeBron or the rest of the team made any great effort." That's exactly my point, in a game like this where Wade, the number 2 best shooting guard in the league due to Kobe's existence, should have brought his A game, he didn't; proving that Kobe is way ahead. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Wade & Heat fan, but I don't find it necessary to make excuses for him when he went MIA last night.

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    2. Don't give me that the Heat weren't trying crap LeBron tried to start a fight with Murphy for no reason and Wade emotions got the better of him and he started playing stupid. They wanted that win LeBron always wants to beat Kobe. The Lakers are finally coming together and other teams are scared.

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  3. LOL @ "It was a smart move by the BIG 2 to drop this game and make it look like Kobe and the Lakers were better." Yeah teams with so much pride like the Heat are dropping games for fun. WTF are you smokin?

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