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Mike D’Antoni Talks Kobe Bryant’s Minutes Limitations, Role Reviewed by Momizat on . On Friday, Kobe Bryant announced that he would rejoin the Lakers for their Sunday matchup against the Toronto Raptors. That night, the Lakers recorded their 10t On Friday, Kobe Bryant announced that he would rejoin the Lakers for their Sunday matchup against the Toronto Raptors. That night, the Lakers recorded their 10t Rating: 0
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Mike D’Antoni Talks Kobe Bryant’s Minutes Limitations, Role

130413110806-kobe-bryant-injury-future-single-image-cutOn Friday, Kobe Bryant announced that he would rejoin the Lakers for their Sunday matchup against the Toronto Raptors. That night, the Lakers recorded their 10th win of the season with a 106-100 win over the Kings. On Saturday morning, the Lakers had a short team workout followed by head coach Mike D’Antoni speaking to the media about Bryant’s potential role for Sunday’s game.

In his first game back, it’s hard to expect Bryant to play heavy minutes as he’s still trying to work himself into game shape, and he’s still trying to work on building flexibility in his left ankle. The Lakers have been able to play well without him on the floor, so heavy minutes aren’t exactly necessary yet.

As far as his role, Bryant could be used to handle the ball. The Lakers struggled against the Kings when Steve Blake wasn’t on the floor with the reserves taking turns running the offense. Bryant has proved to be a capable playmaker over the last few seasons, and could be a better option than the triumvirate of Xavier Henry, Jodie Meeks and Nick Young.

Despite the role that Bryant will play on Sunday, the team should be thrilled to have a player with Bryant’s skill set on the floor. The attention he should draw should provide open, and potentially, easier looks for the other four players on the court.

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About The Author

Phillip Barnett loves cookies and difficult sozialisierbaren basketball. You can follow him on twitter at @imsohideouss.

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  • LakersHeatBeef

    Kobe is a special player,he is a once in a lifetime type of player.MDA knows that.

    • Jim213

      Per Mark Medina… “Bryant will start at shooting guard, sliding Jodie Meeks to the bench. But Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said Bryant won’t nearly play the 38 minutes he averaged per game in the previous two seasons.”

      Good to get him back into the flow of things but IMO we’ll be seeing ball facilitation aside of Kobe’s shooting.

  • Gregory Choa

    This Lakers team is chock full of versatile players, each capable of filling different roles, with Kobe headlining that list – which is perfect for D’Antoni’s system.

  • Jim213

    “If he’s in the game and Steve Blake needs a rest then he’ll slide over.” Shows that Blake will still be playing the 1 but hopefully the coach knows when to bring in Kobe to take advantage of the situation.

    • Joseph Apohen

      Kobe knows his llimitation as he is an intelligent player. He will proceed with caution, and he will develop confidence as time goes on. Hopefully he will achieve the form he had before the injury. At any rate great to have him back no matter how much he can contribute at this time.

      • Jim213

        Know this… we’ve watched Kobe throughout the years. But easier said than done especially if Kobe gets upset. But he’ll be alright as he’ll likely focus more on his shooting and passing while letting the younger legs penetrate the rim for now.

  • Mhurtado

    Welcome back Kobe…….he just needs to feel the game and truly let the game come to him…..we now need to see more back door plays and some cut and slashing from players off the ball….see some pick and rolling without the ball with some lane picks as well…..that is just to enhance his passing skills since he will command some double teaming……not to mention his perimeter shooting abilities…..Welcome back Kobe

  • Dragon7s

    With all the diversity on this Laker roster, does Kobe become Basketball’s version of the Closer, á la Mariano Duncan in Baseball?
    That would limit his minutes and utilize one of his most valuable assets, closing out games.
    Of course, he will start. You can’t not start a player of his stature but I would like to see his minutes in the 1st quarter limited and then for him to be well-rested for the 4th quarter.

    This scenario would be dependent on the play of the rest of the team but from what we’ve seen from them so far, that wouldn’t be a problem.

    Using Kobe in this way would limit any disruption to the now well-established team chemistry and establishes who the go-to player is at the end of games.

  • idk

    that’s not irony.

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