Kobe Bryant played an impressive game on Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, dropping 36 points and shooting nearly 50% from the field in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals.
Bryant is going to need more help from his teammates in order to get a victory tonight in the Staples Center.
Andrew Bynum had an off day, scoring only eight points. The scary part, however, was his ghastly -16 on the +/- chart. If he's going to be a defensive liability against the Mavericks, Lamar Odom might see increased playing time as the power forward, sliding Pau Gasol to the center slot.
Both Odom and Gasol scored 15 points each in game one. Their production aside, Kobe can't do it alone. Bryant is raising his game to a very high level in the postseason, but so has Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs.
Out of all the performances on Monday, Ron Artest's was perhaps the most confusing. Scoring only two points in 31 minutes, Artest failed to assert himself offensively and made only one of his eight shot attempts.
Outside of Kobe, only two Lakers attempted ten or more shots (Gasol and Odom). The one man show rarely works in the NBA Playoffs, so the Lakers need to improve their team production in order to win this series against a very talented and experienced Mavericks team.