Photo of the Day (and Some Numbers Behind It)

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 6:39 am

Game 1 or 2 of the 2010 Western Conference semifinals; Utah Jazz @ L.A. Lakers [Staples Center]
I believe I found this picture on May 5, 2010. It was almost certainly from Game 1 (May 2nd) or 2 (May 4th).

Kobe Bryant wants to rip Deron Williams face off. Deron would be very grateful if he could just get his ball back.

Kobe Bryant‘s top-seeded Lakers were coming off a close first round series against the 8-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, in which L.A. clinched the series with a thrilling 95-94 Game 6 victory on OKC’s home court.

The first round wasn’t exactly a cakewalk for Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz, either. This was a year in which every Western Conference playoff team had at least 50 wins in the regular season, and seemingly every a team in the West had some chance of reaching the Finals. (It’s hard to imagine a time when that was ever true in the East.)Β  But the Jazz got the job done against the 53-win, 4th-seeded Nuggets in a 6-game series, despite an output of 30-PPG by Carmelo Anthony in the series.

What happened after this picture? Kobe’s Lakers would sweep the series against the Jazz, although the final scores were close: the Lakers won Game 1 by 5-points; Game 2 by 8-points; and Game 3 by 1-point.

And despite what his fearsome face in the picture above might suggest, the MVP of the series wouldn’t be Kobe Bryant, but Pau Gasol. The Lakers’ PF averaged 23.5-PPG and 14.5-RBPG in the series, and never pulled down fewer than 12 boards in a game against the Jazz.Β Β Β  …Although I’m sure the Bill Russell Award made for a fine consolation prize for Bryant.


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