After shooting an awful 17-of-57 from the floor in consecutive losses to the lowly Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards, Lakers head coach Mike Brown has finally spoken out about Kobe Bryant’s shot selection. This is the first time this season that Brown has openly criticized his best player to the media since taking over for Phil Jackson.
According to Mark Medina of the L.A. Times, Mike Brown said the following about Kobe Bryant’s shots after the loss to the Washington Wizards
“He took some difficult shots that allowed those guys to come up with long rebounds and push the ball down the floor and get some easy baskets,” Brown told reporters. “He was one of those guys that I did not think took great shots in the second half.”
Even though Kobe Bryant has turned back the clock this season, despite with multiple injuries, in order to become the league’s leading scorer (28.7 ppg), the Masked Mamba has really struggled shooting the basketball as of late. Against the Pistons, Kobe hit a buzzer-beater in the fourth quarter to force overtime and keep the Lakers alive, but the team ultimately lost to an inferior opponent with the superstar finishing with just 22 points on an ugly 8-for-26 from the field.
Just a day later in the nation’s capital, the poor shooting continued for Kobe Bryant finishing with 30 points against the Wizards and hitting just 9-of-31 shots. Despite the 30 points, this was arguably one of Kobe’s worst shooting performances of the season and may have cost the team a win on the road.
Mike Brown has received a lot of criticism throughout the season for shaking up the lineups constantly and having no answer for the team’s problems on offense. Brown is still figuring out how to mold this team into a winner and these bumps in the road are expected, but the new Lakers head coach’s recent criticism of Kobe’s shot selection is warranted for his poor shooting recently.
Hopefully, Kobe Bryant can get back on track in the coming days and get his teammates like Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum more involved. Bynum’s 30-point game against the Pistons was an indication of what he can do when given the touches, but he will need Kobe to defer in order for him to flourish as a dominant offensive force in the paint.