May 21, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half in game five of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Grading the Lakers: The 2-Guards


April 26, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock (0) drives in against the Sacramento Kings during the second quarter at Power Balance Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Now that the Lakers’ season has been long-gone for a while (/cries), it only makes sense to review the Lakers, player-by-player. So that’s what we’ll do, just for the fun of it. We’ve already analyzed the Lakers’ point guards.

Let’s break down and review — with letter grades — a group that could use a little depth: The 2-guard position.

Kobe Bryant: B-/+

If we’re looking at Kobe Bryant independent of his reputation, this season wasn’t so bad. He was a top-10 or top-15 player, but by no means was this dude a top-5 player in the NBA, as he’s normally accustomed to being. It’s fair to say he’s fallen out of that group.

Because this season was flighty. It’s hard to gauge, too, whether this was a result of the NBA lockout or if it’s part of Kobe Bryant’s descent into the twilight of his career, since he’s about to become 34 years old next season. The guy shot 43 percent from the field, significantly below his usual 45 to 45 percent clip. And while his shooting percentage isn’t very troublesome, the amount of shots he takes is: He averaged close to 23 shots a game, the most he’s taken since the 2005-06 season. He’s also had his highest usage rate, damn close to last year’s, but both seasons were significantly higher than any season up until 2005-06. Note that, in 05-06, Kobe’s second option was pretty much Lamar Odom or Kwame Brown.

We won’t get into it too much with Kobe, because the issue has been discussed at length. In essence, Kobe’s good, but he’s no longer great (some would interpret that as a knock on his career as if we’re all idiots), and his contract isn’t justified by his performance.

Andrew Goudelock: C-

Most Lakers fans are bummed that Mike Brown didn’t give Andrew Goudelock very many minutes. Goudelock got his shot early in the season and was somewhat impressive with his gorgeous floaters and contested three-point makes, which earned him the name “Mini-Mamba.”

He fell out of the rotation though, and was completely MIA in games in which there was garbage time. The dude was completely locked out of the rotation, and no one was too sure why.

Goudelock, to be sure, wasn’t worthy of a starting spot, but you had to figure, considering the Lakers’ poor outside-shooting and terrible play from smaller guards, that he was going to get more minutes, at the very least for sucking less.

Goudelock wasn’t given much of a chance this season, so it was tough to gauge just how big of a contributor he’ll be moving forward. That said, he earned himself another year with this team, at the very least.

Tags: Andrew Goudelock Featured Kobe Bryant Lakers Mini Mamba Popular Shooting Guards