Running the Offense Through Kobe
Kobe was forced to virtually play the point guard position early on in the season due to Steve Nash’s injury, but it didn’t exactly work out well.
Well, a lot of it was because Kobe was running screen-and-rolls, and he’s not the most effective player when doing that all the time.
What has changed, however, is that now he’s operating from all areas of the floor–getting post opportunities , utilizing screen-and-rolls, and also being able to create for others through isolation plays.
Previously, fans had talked of the Lakers needing a point guard to take pressure off of Kobe for years, and when Steve Nash finally arrived over the summer, it appeared as though Lakers fans’ wishes had come true.
Well, it has–kind of.
However, the Lakers won five championships with Kobe Bryant being the main facilitator. Simply put, Kobe’s always been the one to initiate the offense and set the table for others, and it won them multiple rings in the process.
I know many of you are thinking “Kobe was a ball hog until just two games ago,” and some of that may be true. However, the Lakers simply couldn’t have won those championships if Kobe Bryant didn’t facilitate the offense. Could other players have gotten more shots? Absolutely, but the end result was always the most important thing.
How Kobe Had Been Playing
Once Nash returned and it appeared as though the offense wasn’t running well with Kobe running pick-and-rolls all game, Kobe went into the mentality of “I can finally play my natural position–which is shooting guard. I’m going to do my part and score and get my team wins.” None of this was selfish by any means, but rather a belief by Kobe that he could take the same advice he gave to Carmelo Anthony over the summer to just be himself by scoring at will, and it would translate into victories.
However, Kobe Bryant is not Carmelo Anthony. While he may be one of the greatest scorers of all time, he’s also one of the smartest players of all time.
That being said, and with a guy of Steve Nash’s basketball IQ labeling Kobe’s play against the Thunder as “brilliant,” I think it’s safe to say that Kobe must continue using not only his ability to score the ball at an incredible rate and from all areas of the floor, but also consistently utilize his remarkable abilities to read defenses, allow plays to develop, and execute the correct decisions from all areas of the floor while picking apart other teams’ defenses.
When he does that, the Lakers are at their absolute best.
What happens to Steve Nash with Kobe Bryant dominating the ball, though? Let’s break that down next.
Next Page: What About Steve Nash?