Breaking Down the Lakers' Shortcomings Through Coach Kobe Bryant's Eyes

Jimmy Spencer@JimmySpencerNBANBA Lead WriterApril 21, 2013

It must have been painful for Kobe Bryant to sit back from home and watch his Los Angeles Lakers fall in Game 1 of the postseason against the San Antonio Spurs.

It’s just so limiting—I mean, he only has 140 characters or less.

Coach Bryant, recovering in Southern California from his Achilles tendon tear, turned to Twitter on Sunday to point out the inefficiencies of his teammates.

Bryant went into color commentator mode. It's a fun image of him laying on a couch in a Steve Nash jersey, bobbing his head to the game and eating potato chips.

But jokes aside, Bryant obviously has a keen eye for the game and the play of his teammates.

He tweeted like a fan, which was tremendous. His view of the game provides insight into what one of the active greats—of that team!—is seeing throughout the contest. That's a nice add-on for fans watching along with him.

It's only a distraction for his Lakers teammates if they're checking tweets from timeouts or at the free-throw line.

If his tweets seem overly critical, imagine his takes in the locker room or huddle.


Bryant's Tweets Early: Nash and Team Rhythm

No other voice of commentary knows more about the Lakers than Bryant. Early on, he pointed out the level of play from Nash, who recently returned from injury. 

In this tweet, Bryant also dropped a euphemism to point out that his team didn't look good early:

His observation of Nash is important, as his healthy return is important to the Lakers. However, Nash needs to be better than average.

After the first quarter, Nash's production was mostly middling, as he scored four points on 2-of-5 shooting and had just one assist playing in just more than half the quarter.

The Lakers played flat early in the game and struggled to climb out of the hole they dug.


Bryant Tweets: Get the Ball Inside

Of the Lakers' 15 first-quarter points, 10 of those came within the paint. Howard and Gasol were a combined 4-of-10 in the first 12 minutes, as the remainder of the Lakers shot 3-of-10.

Ahem, Coach Bryant?


The Lakers won the second quarter, 22-21, as Howard went a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and the Lakers scored 16 of their 22 points in the paint.

The ball worked from the post, and Gasol had four assists in that second quarter.


Coach Bryant Preaches Defense

The Lakers defense was strong early, allowing 42 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range in the first half.

Tony Parker was limited to just 3-of-12 in the first two quarters, though Manu Ginobili did have stretches of running free.

The Lakers continued to play tough defensively, limiting the Spurs to just 33 percent and three assists in the third quarter. But Ginobili got loose again, scoring 10 points in five minutes during that quarter. Other than Ginobili, however, the Spurs shot just 3-of-15 (20 percent) in the third frame.

Parker finished the night with 18 points on 8-of-21 shooting, but he tallied eight assists and broke down the Lakers' on-ball and transition defense.


Bryant: Get It Back to the Post

While the defense was fine through three quarters, the offense never got going, and the Lakers trailed 70-57 heading into the fourth quarter.

Howard didn't take get a single field-goal attempt in the third quarter, and you know Coach Bryant didn't like that.

He returned to preaching the offense's need to return the ball to the post.

Unfortunately, though playing well defensively, the Lakers never found a rhythm running the ball through the post and receiving easier buckets inside-out.

Bryant's tweets weren't loud enough.

Judging by his last tweet, it looks like Bryant realizes his Twitter thumbs may have overshadowed the storyline of the Lakers' Game 1 loss. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.

His Twitter return is questionable for Game 2.


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