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Kobe Bryant says he needs more help from teammates

Jan 18, 2013, 11:27 AM EST

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant reacts during their NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Los Angeles Reuters

Kobe Bryant was worn down Thursday night.

On defense he spent much of the night chasing Dwyane Wade around picks and trying to shut down the league’s 10th leading scorer. On offense he faced constant aggressive ball pressure — Miami’s strategy was to take away the room and time for Kobe and Steve Nash to make good decision as the ball handlers. And it worked, the two combined for 10 of the Lakers 20 turnovers.

Still, Kobe had enough to have 13 fourth quarter points, including the three that tied the game 90-90. Then LeBron happened (five points and two assists to give Miami its final four) and the Heat closed the game on a 9-0 run to win.

After the game, Kobe vented that he couldn’t do it all himself, as reported by ESPNLA.com.

“I need some help offensively to save energy and not have to isolate and do things like that,” Bryant said. “I’m going to need some picks. I’m going to need to catch-and-shoot like I did in the fourth quarter a little bit to make my job a little easier. I think the first three quarters of me just standing around the perimeter, the defense is praying for that. We have to do some things to free me up and get me in open spaces, this way I can be more active on the defensive end of the floor.”

This isn’t just a simple “Kobe doesn’t get help because he doesn’t pass” meme some like to fall back on. It’s more complex than that.

Part of the problem Thursday was the Heat’s pressure defense — they took away passing lanes and good options. Mike D’Antoni had stressed to his team before the game to beat the Heat pressure with ball movement, but under a swarming Heat defense the result was hurried passes with Miami players jumping the passing lanes. That led to 16 first half turnovers and a lot of Lakers just standing around waiting for the guy with the ball to try and make a play.

All that led to Kobe shooting 3-of-16 through the first three quarters.

“We talked about it going into the fourth quarter. I said, ‘Coach D man, goddamn. Come on, man. Come on, man. I can’t be standing out here like this all night long now,'” Bryant said, recalling a conversation with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. “We did a much better job of that. My teammates know. We got to pick each other up. I’m going to go out there and do what I got to do defensively, and then on the offensive end of the floor we’ll pick each other up.”

The problem is this shouldn’t be about Kobe’s shots — he had 25 of them to get his 22 points.

Dwight Howard had just 7 shots. Same with Pau Gasol off the bench. The Miami Heat want to play small but the Lakers could not make them pay by getting Howard good touches down low. (Then when they did Miami would foul — Howard had 13 free throw attempts and hit just 5.) The Lakers didn’t play to their advantage in this game and it cost them.

Kobe is clearly frustrated. The Lakers played better in this game than they did a couple weeks ago, they are improving step-by-step, the problem is they dug themselves such a hole they don’t have time for a gradual improvement.

They need to get better now — and do it with 10 of their next 13 games on the road.

It’s back to the old chicken-and-the-egg with Kobe — he needs more help from his teammates, but he has to make sure those teammates get quality chances, too. Find the mismatch and exploit it. If you play a small team, feed the post. Take advantage of what the defense gives you, don’t just try to impose your will on the other team.

We’ll see if the Lakers can really do all that in time to save their playoff hopes.

  1. fanofevilempire - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    he has logged an average of 39 minutes per game and then
    he has to work hard to get his shot attempts, and he has to
    bail everyone out when the shot clock runs down.
    he has to play defense.

    and now he will get nailed by the posters below…………………..

    • progress2011 - Jan 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      LOCKER ROOM CANCER !!!!

      He deserves to continuously be exposed as the FRAUD he is….wanna-be-like-Mike/ Harlem Globetrotter!

      He has been a LOCKER ROOM CANCER on EVERY laker squad they have rolled on the floor.

      Phil Jackson only coached him because he was/ is in the cookie jar getting snacks from the Buss family. But the coach with the most chips in the history of the league said he is ” UN-COACHABLE”.

      Also…countless Hall Of Famers that have played with him and shared a locker room with him, have said he is the WORST teammate in any locker room.

      This is a prime example. Throwing your teammates and the coach under the bus publicly….they know how to read, they have friends and family and testosterone….how do you think that will go over.

      This is why D12, NEVER wanted to go to la…..LBJ OWNED the Staples center last night !

      So, Fake MJ has to deflect the attention and make excuses as to why he was so severely outplayed !

      Bottom Line

  2. LPad - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    another day and another incredibly talented player saying that D’Antoni’s offensive approach to games is jacked up.

    “I can’t be standing out here like this all night long”

    Very similar to what Melo and Pau said.

  3. lbroberts123 - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Well to get help from your team mates you actually have to pass them the ball.

  4. dannymac17 - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    And we are gonna need you not to jack up some many bad shots.

  5. thenmoveback - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Kobe shot 8-25… I think his teammates need help from him.

    • skids003 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      The arrogance of the “Great One” never ceases to amaze me. He must mean they need to get more offensive rebounds off his misses.

      • rexgrossman8 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        The one on none king can help his teammates by involving them on offense and not leaving his assignment on defense.

    • acdc363 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      LOL! I award you with a thumbs up, good sir.

  6. 8nflfan7 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    yett again hes da best player haha why need help if u are da best player hahaha hes a joke suck on it ball hogger

  7. ckinthekc99 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    When are the Lakers gonna trade Nash or Gasol? Obvious as hell what their problem is, it’s still all in on season , especially since they have no draft picks…

    • mazblast - Jan 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      This may come as news to Laker fans (and their equivalents in other sports, such as the Yankees), but in order to make a trade, you have to find someone willing to trade with you. The rest of the league does NOT serve as your willing farm team; well, they don’t unless David Stern orders it, anyway.

      Nash is aging, ailing, and unwilling or unable to play even a semblance of defense, and Gasol is aging, declining, unwilling or unable to play defense, and has a huge contract.

      Yeah, the league is lining up to trade for those guys. In your dreams.

  8. paulhargis53 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    But fan, “he’s on the floor with 3 future hall of famers”…

    Cmon man, you guys can’t have it both ways.
    This team just diesnt fit together.
    They suck, admit and move on.

    • bougin89 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      I don’t know what the big deal is the LAKERS only need to trade Steve Nash for Kyrie Irving, Pau Gasol for Kevin Durant and fire Dumbtoni and hire Phil Jackson and they will for sure win the championship…

      • progress2011 - Jan 19, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        ahahahaha…Bougin

        Dude, I almost spit my coffee out onto my computer….ahahahaha

  9. bucrightoff - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    True story, Kobe had more shots than Gasol, Howard and Nash combined last night. Seriously either trade Kobe (and get out of cap hell next year) or send him to the bench, but as long as he feels the need to jack it up 30 times a game with 3 other great players around him, he’s killing their chances

  10. chargerdillon - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Hey Kobe you want help from your team? You could really help your team by STOP JACKING UP BAD 3’S OVER AND OVER AND PLAY SOME DAMN TEAM BALL.

    Kobe is KILLING this damn team by just taking bad shot after bad shot, you can’t stay in a game if one guy is continually taking shots he should be passing out of when he’s well covered.

    There is talent on that roster, and what Kobe is doing is making me sick to be a Laker fan. KOBE IS THE PROBLEM

    • badintent - Jan 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      You ARE THE last honest man in LA. Please take your free seat next to Billy Crystal, you have earn the right to watch the Cippers courtside.Watch the best in LA. Enjoy. I gotta deal with CIA Dolan

  11. soopreme - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    I think Kobe sees the handwriting on the wall and hes trying to get traded.

  12. canehouse - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Lebron was masterful last night!!!

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Yes he was!!!

  13. bougin89 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Somewhere after reading Kobe’s comments I imagine Mr. D’Antoni said something like this:

    “Yeah that’s tough. We, er, I, er Kobe has been great. We need to focus on the energy of the ball and I really don’t have an answer for that. If we, well that’s tough, but Kobe has been great. I think we should probably, maybe we should, yeah I think more than likely we might probably get Kobe better looks.”

    Random LA beat writer in the background “Man, this guy is killing me. Can’t he just answer a freaking question? When do the Dodgers report?”

  14. caeser12 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    “I need some help offensively to save energy and not have to isolate and do things like that,”

    Laker Girls/Fans/Groupies are going to have a field day with this.

    Bizarro World.

  15. fanofthegame79 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    So Kobe took 25 shots last night…and so did LeBron. However, LeBron his 68% of his shots (17) and still had 7 rebounds and 8 assists. That’s what I call an all-around game. That’s leaving out his 3 steals and 1 block. Let’s face it, if LeBron had the teams that Kobe has had around him for his entire (well almost) career, he would have 6+ championships. It’s that simple. In order to be the greatest, you need championships – and a really good team of role players around you.

    • bougin89 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      What? Don’t use that useless FG% stat. That’s just useless and assists are so easy to get anybody can do that.

      I feel the need to point out that I wrote that in the most sarcastic way possible.

    • divan22 - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      “Numbers don’t matter, only championships matter! Therefore Kobe’s better than LeBron despite LeBron’s superiority in nearly every statistic.” – Kobe apologist

      “So Robert Horry was better than MJ?” – person who understands how team sports work

      “Um, no… that’s different.” – Kobe apologist

  16. caeser12 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I-4 times
    I’m-Twice
    My-Once
    Me-3 Times

    We-Once.

    Got it.

  17. paleihe - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Way too many turnovers last night. Howard was pathetic at the line. Unbelievable that you can’t force-feed Howard or Gasol vs a very small and thin front line of Miami. Nash has a bazillion turnovers, very surprising. Nash should be shooting much more than he his. Kobe was missing way too much shots.

    All in all, horrible game played by the Lakers, and it’s beyond surprising that it was even a close game.

    • paleihe - Jan 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      LOL @ my grammar.

      *Nash HAD a bazillion turnovers.
      *Kobe was missing way too MANY shots.

  18. loungefly74 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    get the ball to howard? how? the Heat players were swarming around him the entire game! they did not let DH get going…by hacking him on easy shots (smart move considering he is horrible at the stripe). not as easy as said.

    kobe was missing wide open shots the first 3 quarters. hey, nights like that happen. he can’t blame or get mad at the bench, i thought they did great.

    Look…the Lakers played good. they just got killed the last 2 minutes when Lebron decided to be…well…Lebron.

    I’m sure all the Laker critics knew this already because they love to watch games of team they hate (rolls eyes…)

    • progress2011 - Jan 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      How you get the ball to him is by throwing a simple entry pass…over the top !!!

      The guys “swarming around him the entire game” were only 6’8″ and / or can’t jump (Battier, Haslem, Anthony, Lebron etc. etc. etc. )

      And Bosh is a 150 pound limp noodle.

      Howard still can probably touch his elbow on the rim. Any guard with “FUNDAMENTALS” can make that pass over a bunch of midgets, in their sleep.

      If jack-up-artist/ Fake MJ/ Harlem Globetrotter would have ever learned how to throw an entry pass, Howard and Gasol would / should have dominated !

      This idea is basketball 101. For Fake MJ and Faker fans to not understand basic entry passes and taking advantage of a twin tower duo vs one of the smallest teams in the league, confirms the lack of comprehension and understanding “FUNDAMENTAL” ball.

  19. itsonlyaspeedbump - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    If the Miami Heat were Tracy McGrady then Kobe would have crushed them 1-on-1 without help.

  20. jmclarkent - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Kobe was shooting and then looking to see if he was open.

    • mazblast - Jan 20, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      If the other team is constantly pressuring your guards, try setting some high picks using your biggest bodies. Guys back off a little when they get run into concrete barriers. Street ball 101.

  21. aboogy123456 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I think what would really help is if the lakers can find a way to get devin ebanks more minutes. Yes he’s limited offensively but he’s potentially their best perimeter defender. They could really use his length and athleticism to guard quicker guys on the outside. If only he can develop his jumpshot, but I really think that will ease the pressure off of kobe. Also, another guy suggested that earl clark plays more small forward and I like that idea because he’s a good defender and he has the length to make it hard for guys on the outside.

    Kobe is right though, he needed more help on offense. I think a lot of the blame can be put on nash because he was letting the pressure get to him and they weren’t getting into their offense early enough. This led to a lot of shot clock bail out shots by kobe. They need to be more patient and howard needs to demand the ball in the post. He doesn’t fight for good enough position and he needs to make it easier for guys to make the entry pass.

  22. aboogy123456 - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    I think what would really help is if the lakers can find a way to get devin ebanks more minutes. Yes he’s limited offensively but he’s potentially their best perimeter defender. They could really use his length and athleticism to guard quicker guys on the outside. If only he can develop his jumpshot, but I really think that will ease the pressure off of kobe. Also, another guy suggested that earl clark plays more small forward and I like that idea because he’s a good defender and he has the length to make it hard for guys on the outside.

  23. aboogy123456 - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Kobe is right though, he needed more help on offense. I think a lot of the blame can be put on nash because he was letting the pressure get to him and they weren’t getting into their offense early enough. This led to a lot of shot clock bail out shots by kobe. They need to be more patient and howard needs to demand the ball in the post. He doesn’t fight for good enough position and he needs to make it easier for guys to make the entry pass.

  24. talkingfan - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    KOBE BRUH you I like you and the Lakers but dude you take alot of bad shot. I wouldn’t say shoot to much but some of the effort you are using to shoot ova 2/3 people pass the ball. Great you are, but DAMN you make it harder than it has to be.

  25. curtis35w - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    kinda hard for them to help when they never get passed the ball lol i dont remember lebron complaining when he was on the crap cavaliers and he was way up in assists. Kobe is a cry baby. things arent going his way so he wants to take his ball and go home :( poor baby

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      next time you should try watching the game. Kobe does pass the ball and last night he was making the right play. He was put in bad situations with no time left on the shot clock so he had to bail the offense out. nash deserves the blame because kobe doesn’t want to take those bail out shots, he knows it’s not good for the offense.

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