There are two ways to look at Kobe Bryant’s performance Tuesday night, and how you do really speaks more to how you feel about Kobe than anything else.
On one side, there’s the argument that sure he scored 39 points, but it was an inefficient 39 off 37 shots — he was 14-of-37 from the floor for 37.8 percent shooting. He was 7-of-19 in the paint, 4-of-11 from the midrange. He took 42 percent of his team’s total shots. Kobe got his numbers but the Lakers can’t win if the offense isn’t efficient, and by the way they lost to the Suns and now are 0-5 on the season.
On the other side is this argument: Who else on this roster do you want taking more shots besides Kobe? Carlos Boozer? Jordan Hill? Sure you do. I think you can make a case for a little more Jeremy Lin and Ed Davis, but that’s no real answer. There is not other options on this team that opposing defenses fear or have to adjust their game f0r, so Kobe has to work hard and be the bulk of the offense.
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I think what you’re getting out of Kobe right now is all you can reasonably expect from the man at this age coming off these surgeries — his comeback has been impressive. The problem is the Lakers offense often seems to be a two-man game with everyone else standing around — there is little cutting or off the ball movement. It’s not hard to defend, which leads to inefficient offense. Both coach Byron Scott and the players need to change that.
The Lakers defense is abysmal and not going to become good anytime soon. If they are going to get wins they are going to have to out score teams, and to do that they need to be more efficient. Somehow.