Kobe Dialing Long Distance in Playoffs

60745742NBATV has been kind enough to run condensed one-hour versions of L.A.’s 2010 championship run this past week, and one thing that stood out upon a quick review (fast-forwarding through free throws) was how many three-pointers Kobe Bryant nailed.

With many of his triples swishing through the net at key times for the Lakers*, the five-time champ hit a career-high 49 throughout the playoffs, connecting at least once in all but five of 23 games, including 12 straight from the start of the Western Conference Finals through Game 7 against Boston.
*Game 6 @ OKC, Game 3 @ Utah, the whole Phoenix series, Game 4 @ Boston, etc.

In fact, the 19 triples Bryant hit against Phoenix were more than the total number of three-pointers he connected on in six full playoff runs throughout his career. His previous high came in 2009 when he dropped 37, though in fairness he also attempted more triples in 2010 (131) than in any other playoffs.

Only Boston’s Ray Allen – who set the NBA Finals record with eight triples in Game 2 – made more triples that Bryant, as Allen connected on 56-of-145 (38.6 percent).

The winner of two straight Finals MVP awards shot his best percentage in 2003 when he made 25-of-62 threes for a 40.3 percent mark, but his 2010 total was just under twice as many without a significant drop in percentage.

60766871Here’s a run down of Kobe’s long-distance bombing from year-to-year, starting way back in the 1996-97 campaign when Bryant was just 18 years old:

1997: 6 for 23 (26.1%)
1998: 3 for 14 (21.4%)
1999: 8 for 23 (34.8%)
2000: 22 for 64 (34.4%)
2001: 11 for 34 (32.4%)
2002: 22 for 58 (37.9%)
2003: 25 for 62 (40.3%)
2004: 24 for 97 (24.7%)
2006: 14 for 35 (40.0%)
2007: 10 for 28 (35.7)
2008: 32 for 106 (30.2%)
2009: 37 for 106 (34.9%)
2010: 49 for 131 (37.4%)