Kobe’s a killer.

Let me preface this post by saying while I reallllllyyyy wanted to watch this game, the Dinette had a friend over tonight. So I’m perched on the couch with my beverage and notepad watching Bargnani spice up the meatball…but the couch, on this fine snowy evening, happened to also be SMACK in the crossfire of Female Chit-Chat. And when you’re in the eye of this storm, your focus is as good as done. Because with Female Chit-Chat comes all sorts of distracting statements, things like (straightfaced and serious): “Y’know, I just feel like you and Josh are Asian souls.”

I’m sorry, what? What does this mean? How do two clearly non-Asian people respond to a statement like that? “Ummm, thanks, we really like cellphone trinkets”?? So while I was trying to follow the ebb, flow, and emotional spine of this game, I had constantly fight for concentration, while trying to ignore contemplating the meaning behind someone telling me my soul had a distinct nationality.

That being said…I saw enough of the game to know, once again, that

Kobe’s a killer.

Even with Ronny Turiaf (good player, bad head-nodder) at C, a personnel choice consequence following the Kwame-Gasol swindling, there was no wide open rim or empty paint in which for Rasho, Bosh, Humph, and Bargnani to roam. To be fair, having a PF with talents like Odom somewhat hedges that decision.

Kobe had 11 turnovers in a tough road loss last night. He landed in Toronto at 4AM. Checked into a hotel, woke up in a fuckin’ snowflake jungle, then came out and dropped a smooth, efficient 46 points and reminded the world that

Kobe’s a killer.

And this wasn’t one of those T-Mac 40-pointers where he goes 19-22 from the line…all his points were on field goals! 19-28, or 68%. Dunks, fadeaways, shimmy-shakes, spins, long balls – Kobe showed us everything tonight but the little mamba he showed that hotel clerk. He feasted on our defence opposite of offence and put on the second best PERFORMANCE we’ve seen at the ACC this season (the King’s 4th quarter still reigns). All you young players out there, take if from coach can’t-dribble-with-his-left: the jab step is a potent weapon. MJ had it, and he was pretty good. It keeps dudes guessing, ESPECIALLY when you can use both hands*.

* I’ve heard.

So the Lake Show, for real? Lamar had a very solid 12, 10, and 8. Farmar and Vujucic combined for 7 threes. It’s tough to argue with that. As Doug Smith said today, the Suns can’t guard them, the Spurs are too old and slow – in my opinion, Dallas might be the only team with the tools to stop them from a Western Conference title.

You can compliment Kobe on his skills, but that’s like telling Peter North he’s well endowed. It’s become quite clear to obvservant NBA fans that Kobe outclasses every NBA player (except LeBron and Dwight Howard) for one reason alone: because he demands so much goddamn attention. He’s completely and totally overwhelming. He’s made the transition from superstar to MVP this season, from lone wolf to member of the pack. And when it’s rockin’ like it did tonight…well, just think about them having both Bynum and Gasol, after three weeks of practice under Phil Jackson. Scary.

This whole Gasol thing’s got a lotta people asking questions.

It’s official: When Bargnani just plays the game rather than thinks about it, his shots go in. It’s the whole ‘thinking’ thing that causes him to shuffle his feet, toss an air ball, and other frustrating antics. But when he’s free-yet-decisive, he’s a very valuable asset to this team. And sorry haters, he’s not going anywhere. You can’t contest that whether he hits his shot or not, Andrea’s definitely in a better headspace, better rhythm in the past handful of games.

Oh, and he dunked over Kobe.

…and Turiaf.

Bargnani had a good game, but that’s about it. Bosh’s 22 and 15 were as pedestrian as I’ve ever seen. AP and Jose were hounded by Laker defenders all evening. And while Kobe was dropping dollar bills into the net, we had no dimes tonight. If you can believe it, Juan Dixon had more assists (6) than Jose. I know, insane! Jose only had 5 assists, his lowest total since December 22nd. Where was Humph tonight??

Oh well, we’re off until Monday, when we look to continue our winning ways against the Miami Heat Lukewarms. That should be an exciting one, righzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Finally, gotta give mention to that sweet Saul Williams spoken word intro on Raptors TV. Much better than I expected, only because dude is so intense. Nice work, guys. Appreciate you striving for something more than a soundtrack montage sizzle video.

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