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When Nash comes back Kobe says he can just focus on scoring

Nov 26, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

Right now we get to see Kobe Bryant running a lot of pick-and-roll when we watch a Lakers game — and it’s not bad. He was never really asked to do this in the triangle offense, but he has shown real skill at decision making on setting up teammates and when to get the points for himself.

But there also has been moments of vintage Kobe — in the four games since Mike D’Antoni started stalking the sidelines, the two times Kobe had fewer than 20 shot attempts the Lakers won, when it was 20 or more they lost. As always, when the other Lakers are struggling to score Kobe takes on more of the offense, but that doesn’t always work.

Kobe thinks his point totals will go up and the Lakers will be better off when he has to distribute less because Steve Nash returns from his broken leg. Then he can just focus on scoring, he told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register (hat tip to SLAM).

“I’ve been doing this my whole career, and some nights my teammates hit more shots and that adds up to more assists for me,” Bryant said. “The games we win are when the whole team is making shots. Now, if our shots aren’t going in, then I have to take more of the offensive load.”

Bryant is looking forward to Nash’s return, for sure. Nash will be re-evaluated next week.

“I’ll be scoring a lot more when Nash gets back,” Bryant said. “I won’t have to facilitate as much, and it will allow me to do what I do best — and that’s put the ball in the hole.”

There seems to be this feeling among the Lakers and their fans that the return of Nash will be a panacea for the Lakers issues. That somehow everybody will get the touches they want in the places they want once Nash returns.

But it’s not that simple. Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard’s spacing and confidence issues will not magically disappear. It’s not that simple. There will be more adjustments, more guys trying to figure out where they fit in. There are no simple answers for the Lakers… well, other than that they need to defend better.

  1. lakerluver - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    “Confidence issues”? Did Pau and Dwight just enter the league? Where was that lack of confidence when D12 and Pau had good games? The return of Nash might not instantly transform the LAKERS. The team will still have to build chemistry and cohesion. But his return will definitely make them much better. Especially, in the system they’re in now. I do agree with your assessment about the defense. But as for a lack of confidence I think all of that talk will soon be gone. Having Nash getting guys the ball exactly when and where they’re most comfortable will do wonders for any “alleged” lack of confidence.

  2. magicbucs - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Who cares Kurt. I’ve already read about this on here by another writer.

  3. ovi8lebron6 - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Good old ball-hog Kobe.

    • tsi431 - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      Funny story. Kobe is 32nd in assists in all NBA. With 51% shooting, he is also one of the best shooter in the NBA this year.

      Kobe is averaging more assists per game then.

      Kevin Durant
      Ramon Sessions, last years PG
      James Harden
      J.J. Reddick
      Carmello Anthony
      Kevin Love
      Tim Duncan

      I think my point is proven. Your logic of being a ball hog is flawed. 212 other players are also ball hogs based on your logic. You can’t dish out that many assists and also be a ball hog, inconceivable.

      • ovi8lebron6 - Nov 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        Wrong. Facilitating or not being a ball hog has nothing to do with the assists. Or at least not necesseraly. Also you have to consider the fact that Kobe probably has one of the most highest usage percentages of the league. My comment was mainly refferring to the fact that actually I like seeing this kind of style of him in this young season, and with Nash coming back, he admits that it will be gone. Again.

    • aboogy123456 - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      good old dumb-$%^ kids that know nothing about basketball calling kobe a ballhog.

  4. jjpt4540 - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Kobe looking to shoot first no he would never do that. Oh wait it’s Kobe he always looks to shoot first, second, and third.

  5. ebrownwareagle - Nov 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    He Should he got 5 RINGS! It must work! BTW: MJ did it TOO! and he got 6!

  6. chargerdillon - Nov 26, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    When or If?

    How old is Nash? Last time I checked he aint getting younger.

    Lakers better realize this is the product they’ll be working with in the MAJORITY of the time. Nash is more like an overhyped bench player at this point.

    To think everythign will get better/change when Nash comes back is both foolish and illogical. The Lakers arn’t playing horrible basketball, they’re making amateur turnovers time and time again which Nash can’t fix.

    Lakers still have a very poor bench and a coach who emphasizes playing speed rather than playing control. I absolutely love the product, fun to watch, but Nash is no savior/fixer of this team now or any time in the future.

    Having Kept Ramon Sessions with this team and my guess they’d be sitting in first place with half the losses they currently do, that’s just me.

    • sdlakerfan - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      Agree about Nash…hasn’t been impressive so far but i’m hopeful Dantoni will help some. Disagree on Sessions…he was exposed as a 2nd rate player in the playoffs last yr. Glad we dumped him. He was overpaid and wanted more.

    • nlruizjr - Nov 26, 2012 at 8:47 PM

      so your saying that Ramon Sessions is a better PG at running the P&R system?
      Apparently, you did not watch the playoffs, when Ramon disappeared.
      D’Antoni is basing his comment on the 4-5 years working with Nash, you know some people can pick up a system better than others, Kobe even admitted that Nash is the distributor and will be when he gets back. Sounds to me like you are basing his 1 year older in age when he nearly took the Suns to the playoffs with the crapy team he had, I really don’t think that 1 more year is going to change Nash’s game that much, some people can still play even at 33-35 and the way he plays isn’t a speed game, it’s a quick game reaction and Nash excell’s at that because he understands how to read what the defense gives him and he has a ton of talent that he didn’t have last year.

  7. rodge1 - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    It’s very enjoyable watching Kobe get farther and farther away from another ring.

  8. musician0785 - Nov 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    overhyped bench player? keep ramon sessions? whatever it is u 2 r smoking…..i would like some……its funny how much ppl claim 2 kno about a Guy on a team who has only played 2 games…..hack analysts kill me

  9. iamjimmyjack - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Kobe needs to shoot less. That’s obvious by looking at the box scores of the games the lakers win. Please kobe don’t chase Dwight out of town.

    • aboogy123456 - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      looking at the box scores doesn’t show you the whole game and what’s actually going on. If dwight had more of a post game maybe he would take more shots when he gets the ball in the post instead of just kicking it out to kobe and forcing kobe to create something.

  10. nlruizjr - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Maybe D’Antoni should watch some Van Gundy film to see how he made space for DH, I think Van Gundy used more P&R’s to free up DH and not have him camp out in the paint under the basket. Also, he needs to keep Gasol closer to the basket to help out DH so they can’t double or triple team DH. But progress is being made, GO LAKERS !!!

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:00 AM

      “Maybe D’Antoni should watch some Van Gundy film to see how he made space for DH.”
      He surrounded Dwight with good 3 point shooters.

      “Also, he needs to keep Gasol closer to the basket to help out DH so they can’t double or triple team DH.”
      So first, you say that the Lakers should get more space for Dwight.
      Then, you say the Lakers should move Pau Gasol closer to the Dwight.

      ….Well, which is it?
      Does Dwight need more space, or does Dwight need Gasol nearby?
      Moving players close to Dwight doesn’t give him more space…..

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