If you ask Tim Legler, the difference between the Celtics and Lakers is that the Celtics are all on the same page, while the Lakers are increasingly on different books, never mind pages. (WEEI)
“I think for Kobe Bryant, the problem right now is as the game goes on and the Celtics make a run in the second half, Kobe trusts his teammates less and less and less. And that’s a big problem for the Lakers,” Legler said. “You can see the frustration in the body language and the gestures he made towards some of his teammates and he frustration he showed in a couple of those huddles late in that game. He doesn’t necessarily feel he’s got the guys to with the intestinal fortitude to withstand a team as tough mentally as the Boston Celtics.”
As for the Celtics, Legler noted that, “They trust each other completely. That to me is one of the biggest differences between these two teams.”
I don’t think there’s any doubt that Kobe is starting to lose faith in his teammates. It’s clear in both his body language and shot selection.
To me, it’s on Kobe to help restore the confidence in his teammates. When guys are struggling (like Ron Artest and Derek Fisher have been the past couple games), you need to boost their egos and give them pep talks, not berate them every time they make a bad play. The Lakers are filled with players who have shown the ability to be very good in the past, they just aren’t getting the job done in the past two games. Blame the Celtics defense, partially, but I don’t think Kobe’s antics are helping matters.
Basketball is a game of confidence, and that confidence can be very fickle indeed. The Lakers’ role players need to find some, and quick, or the Celtics will end this series tonight.