Kobe Bryant might well have seen his role in the Los Angeles Lakers switch, but the same underlying issues still remains.
Over the past four games Kobe is averaging 16.5 points, 12 assists per game and 7.8 rebounds and the team holds a record of 3-1 including a morale boosting victory over Oklahoma City Thunder.
While Kobe has been working on a new way for the offense to look, helping the team score has never really been the issue. The Lakers are 6th in the NBA scoring 102.2 points a game, the issue is that the team still remain 26th when it comes to defense, averaging 100.9 points allowed a game.
With arguably one of the best defensive players in the league, Dwight Howard, it becomes even more surprising for the team’s defensive frailties. Although Howard, or Mike D’Antoni can’t be solely at blame, it is the whole team’s inability to show up with a consistent defense.
The troubles at the defensive end of the court have been one of the main reasons for the fact that the Lakers are a team who should be in the playoffs, but are a team on the outside looking in to the playoff mix.
There are many reasons that have been brandished on why the team is failing, whether it is rotations, chemistry or team personnel, the main issue of defense remains at large.
Kobe shooting less and creating more is something that is just covering up the main issue which is being ignored.
The Lakers are giving up 100.9 points a game, allowing opponents to shoot 45.1% from the field and converting 7.3 points every outing.
The Lakers have failed to put out a consistent rotation, no team is going to be successful until that is sorted out. Championships are built on defense and the Lakers are remarkably ranked 29th in opponents scoring in the pain, D’Antoni needs to adjust this. We all know that he is not a master of the defense, which once again brings up the question why is he in charge?
The Lakers are struggling with every defensive category there is, mixed in with chemistry problems and continuing changing of line-ups the fact that Kobe is now creating more is hardly a consolation.
The fact that Kobe is also making the headlines for simply giving up more shots also is cover up to the main issue at hand. Kobe has always been able to dish out assists. Not only being in the elite 30,000 points group he has the most assists out of the group.