Is Lakers’ Success Dependent On Kobe’s Newfound Passing Role? Reviewed by Momizat on . Well, apparently the answer is an incredibly resounding "yes!" Lakers Nation took to Twitter and  posed this question to the fans: "Does Kobe Bryant need to con Well, apparently the answer is an incredibly resounding "yes!" Lakers Nation took to Twitter and  posed this question to the fans: "Does Kobe Bryant need to con Rating:
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Is Lakers’ Success Dependent On Kobe’s Newfound Passing Role?

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Well, apparently the answer is an incredibly resounding “yes!”

Lakers Nation took to Twitter and  posed this question to the fans:

“Does Kobe Bryant need to continue this streak of 10+ assists per game for the Lakers to win? #Yes #No – use Hashtags to vote.”

After over 300 votes, 78.7 percent of fans voted “Yes,” while just 21.3 percent voted “No.”NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat

So, let’s break it down a bit.

This season, Kobe has dished out 10-plus assists three times–each occasion ending with a Lakers’ win.

The team, on average, moves the ball around enough for 21.8 assists. However, in those three games, the Lakers averaged 27.3 assists.

More telling is the fact that the team averages 108.6 points when Kobe drops 10-plus dimes, opposed to a season average of 102.4, and the difference in points differential is quite significant when the Kobe dishes as well; the Lakers have an average points differential of +1.4 on the season, but a differential of +12.6 when Kobe reaches double-digits assists.

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Obviously, that stat is based on a very small sample size, and it shows how stats can be manipulated to prove a point.

Regardless, the stats may be skewed, but the eyeball evaluation is the most definite: The Lakers simply play much better offensively and defensively when Kobe Bryant facilitates the offense.

As for whether he needs to continue to average 10-plus assists per game for the Lakers to keep winning? I don’t necessarily buy it.

Let me explain.

First of all, I don’t see Kobe averaging 14 assists (as he did in consecutive games against the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder) for the rest of the season. I don’t see him averaging dishing out 10 assists every game, either.

It’s not that I don’t think Kobe will keep it up or that he’ll revert to shooting too much again, but rather that teams will adjust and there will be times when Kobe does need to shoot the ball as a first option.

What Kobe does need to continue doing is look for his teammates and try to get them going–especially his big men.

Teams are playing Dwight Howard pretty strong down in the post, so Kobe and the rest of the team have to continue to try and find ways to get him the ball. But, if opposing teams keep locking him down in the post, it simply leaves other players available to produce, so the ball must swing to them. Fortunately, the Lakers have another big man: Pau Gasol.

Against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kobe was able to work extremely well with Pau Gasol–as he has done so often in the past–and it resulted in 16 points (on 7-10 shooting) and four assists for the Spaniard.

It didn’t just work out well for Gasol, though, as Steve Nash put up 17 points (2-4 from three-point land) and dished out five assists, Metta World Peace had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Antawn Jamison had 12 points, and Earl Clark had 11; Kobe himself had 21 points on a highly efficient 8-12 shooting. Dwight Howard, however, was in foul trouble and just managed eight points.

Now, let’s take a look at what happens when the Lakers run the offense through Kobe Bryant.

Next Page: Running The Offense Through Kobe

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About The Author

Suki is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and an unsigned contributing writer for Lakers Nation. Follow Suki on Twitter @TheRealSuki and Facebook. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Number of Entries : 180
  • Dr. Rasheed

    Answer is Yes. But the question is how can this be a new-found Kobe’s role?

    We have seen it before and we know what he is capable of. However it is him that doesn’t realize and then go into his mode while rest of the teammates suffer. What did we see, Kobe’s number rising while Lakers loss rising. When he passes the ball they are winning. IT IS A NO BRAINER!

    Is this going to continue? Depends on Kobe’s nature. Often when Lakers play with big teams Kobe plays like a team player. But once that is over, he comes back to his usual mode. I think Kobe is afraid of getting highlighted as a bad guy in the big games. So he tries to play team game. Once the radar is off, he goes into his MVP mode. One man team.

    Even if Kobe passes the ball, we don’t know how long this will last with Mike D’Antoni System. There are multifunctional issues with Lakers. One major issue is Kobe Vs Dwight. They didn’t click. Dwight is not dominating (injuries).
    One solution I see is Nash/Pau will be good combination. Both are good passers and can take a shot when needed. If they have ball in their hand more then Kobe, then only this team will have success.

    I like Kobe but this is a team game. I am getting old/tired of saying this, Kobe needs to start involving players by giving them enough opportunities and some sacrifice on attempts. He can’t wait till playoff’s an expect them to gel while he gets his MVP. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

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