3 votes – Pau Gasol. This – “We just move the ball to an open guy. They send two guys at me, I’ve done my job… we’ll be ready if that happens” – is what Kobe Bryant said after Game 1. He couldn’t have been more prophetic, because not only did the Suns send several doubles Kobe’s way in Game 2, but he was ruthless at dissecting the Suns defense and found himself with a playoff career-high 13 assists. The Lakers were ready, and Kobe did his job. But he doesn’t get the 3 votes. Sure Kobe made a lot of nice passes on this night, but it was Gasol who did most of the finishing, made a bunch of great reads and passes himself, and also made Amare Stoudemire look about as sharp as a blunt turd. It was just a beautiful game from Pau, but it’s difficult to read too much into it given the hopeless Suns defense. Watching this game, I couldn’t help but think that this is horrible preparation for Pau if he’s going into battle against KG and Perk in a week’s time. Amare and his hands-off statue defense is the opposite end of the spectrum from what he’ll encounter against the Celtics. Don’t get too comfy Pau.
2 votes – Kobe Bryant. See above. The most assists in a playoff game since Magic Johnson in 1996, which isn’t all that impressive when you remember that Magic Johnson wasn’t actually any good in 1996. But still, it’s another reminder that Kobe can absolutely shift gears when he has to. How many players in the league can go from scoring 40 one game to dishing 13 assists in the next? Wade and Lebron and that is all.
1 vote – Lamar Odom. Is this guy lucky or what? Another smooth performance from Lamar in this one making a mockery of Amare’s stupid Game 1 comments. 17 points and 11 boards and 4 assists and 3 steals and 1 block in 33 minutes. Only missed three shots too. Very lucky.