Found December 19, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
When Kobe Bryant was asked about the Lakers comeback, hecredited a player whose performance didn't stand out on the stat sheet.
"Our bench came in and did a fantastic job," Bryant said. "Darius Morris is afantastic defender."
Morris finished with an unassuming seven points on three-for-six shooting, fourrebounds and three assists in the Lakers' 101-100 win over the Charlotte Bobcats onTuesday evening, but his contribution to the team extended far beyond thosenumbers.
Morris played hard-nosed defense against the Bobcats, forcing a few key playslate in the game that helped the Lakers overcome an 18-point second-halfdeficit.
In one play in the third quarter, Morris smothered Ben Gordon, who proceeded to pick up hisdribble and throw the ball out of bounds.
"It really energized us," Morris acknowledged. "We got a bucketon the other end."
In another play in the third quarter, Morris forced a 24-second violation byattaching himself like glue to Kemba Walker.
"He didn't get a shot off," Morris said.
Morris' defense was pivotal to the Lakers' 30-4 run, which began midway throughthe third quarter and extended to the top of the fourth.
"Before I even started playing, they told me that's what I got to do, justreally play on the defensive end," Morris said. "That's what we'remissing and that's how I can be valuable to the team."
Morris acknowledged that defense wasn't always his top priority. Last season,as a rookie, he poured his energy into the offensive end.
"I probably focused on that a little more, just trying to prove myselfwith a chip on my shoulder," Morris said of scoring. "But this year,having some offensive success makes it easier now to just kind of step back andreally focus on the defensive end of the court."
Morris said that he worked out with Metta World Peace, aformer Defensive Player of the Year, during this past off-season.
"He's given me tips on my angles on defense," Morris said. "Thatlittle bit that he's given me has really helped me, like watching thedefender's waist instead of the ball really has helped me."
Morris finished Tuesday's game with a 20 rating, proving that his new-foundconcentration can have a big effect on his team.
"Defense, you can bring that every night," he said. "Not everyday are you going to hit your shots."-Melissa Rohlin
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Chris Carlson / APKobe Bryant put up 30 points in Tuesdays win over the Bobcats, marking his 7th straight game with at least 30 points. With this streak, Kobe became the first player in NBA history of at least 34 years of age to do so. The only other players to come close were Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Michael Jordan, whose streaks both ended at 5 straight games.Even at age 34, Kobe...
The Lakers have been struggling to adjust to Mike D’Antoni’s system for a variety of reasons; one of them being the severe lack of quality wing players to run the floor and shoot from the perimeter. Metta World Peace and Devin Ebanks have been the primary options at small forward, and both leave a lot to be desired. It looks like D’Antoni might be making a bit of a surprising...
Every time Kobe Bryant returns to Philadelphia, he certainly turns up his play a little bit. He enjoyed his visit last night, where he scored 34 points in a Laker victory. Without a doubt, this ridiculous jumper that he hit over 76ers big man Spencer Hawes was one of his favorite plays of the night:
This is a shot that most NBA players probably wouldn’t even attempt, or would...
Jason Whitlock, a writer for FOX Sports, dissected the problem the Los Angeles Lakers are currently going through. According to Whitlock, the root of the problem is not the coach nor the lack of a solid point guard to relieve Steve Nash, but the ego of Kobe Bryant. Whitlock blames Kobe’s “desperate pursuit of Michael Jordan’s legacy.” A powerful opinion that some may...
We know that Kobe Bryant has never been one to downplay his confidence in his basketball ability or be quiet, well, about anything. But he took that too far recently, telling T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times that he probably would have scored more points had he never played with Shaq on the Lakers.
From Simers' column:
'If I was playing in this [Mike] D'Antoni...
Before the Lakers took on the Sixers in Philly on Sunday, Andrew Bynum gave a few quotes about playing with Kobe that seemed to be throwing shots at the Superstar. Kobe Bryant responded to Bynum’s assertion that playing with him may have stunted his growth by agreeing with him. “For sure, because when you’re playing [...]
In an interesting ready by ESPN Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum offered his opinion on playing with NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant. This comment had such perfect timing since the Lakers played the 76ers last night and the fact that Bynum was traded to Philadelphia this past summer in order to get Dwight Howard. Bynum felt that playing with Kobe really hurt his game due to the fact that the...
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant scored four of his 30 points in the final 1:26 and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame an 18-point third-quarter deficit to beat Charlotte 101-100 on Tuesday night, handing the Bobcats their 12th straight loss.
Jodie Meeks and Metta World Peace each had 17 points for the Lakers, who won their third straight to match their longest winning streak of the...
While LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat were running roughshod over the NBA two years ago, I was dismayed to find myself rooting for Kobe Bryant.
Bryant had never been a favorite of mine. Judging by the boos that rain down on him at every road arena, my attitude put me in the company of about three-quarters of all basketball fans. He was responsible for so much sports...
LOS ANGELES History was made and a bit of redemption was gained forLaker failings of the past at Staples Center on Tuesday night. Kobe Bryant, 34, set an NBA record by being the oldestplayer in NBA history to score 30 or more points in seven consecutive games asthe Lakers squeaked out a 101-100 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. During the defeat, the Bobcats Gerald Henderson Jr. experiencedfirst...
Andrew Bynum is 7 feet tall and supposed to be one of the NBA’s best centers.
Instead, he’s spent most of this season working back from knee injuries amidst reports that he’d rather be bowling (which complicated one of the knee injuries) or just not playing basketball at all. Still, Bynum has apparently found some room to throw stones when it comes to explaining why his career...
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers waged a furious fourth-quarter rally then staved off multiple game-winning attempts by the Charlotte Bobcats to take the 101-100 win on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Down by as much as 18 in the second half, Los Angeles went on a 28-4 run midway through the third quarter and into the fourth quarter as the Bobcats crumbled under the weight...