Byron Scott seems to be figuring out Kobe Bryant.
After creating a ridiculous plan to give Kobe way too many minutes, Scott realized the error of his ways and rested the Lakers star three straight games.
Scott also planned to rely on Kobe for a lot of scoring, but that just led a lot of missed shots. Again, it seems Scott corrected the problem.
In the two games since his return, Kobe has taken his fewest shots of the season – 10 in a loss to the Suns and 11 in a win over the Nuggets. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Lakers posted their two highest effective field-goal percentages of the season in those games while scoring 107 points against Phoenix and 111 points against Denver.
All good, right?
Scott on Kobe, via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:
“I’d like him to be a little bit more aggressive, and take a little bit more shots,” said Scott
“He’s just taking what the defenses are giving him. That’s what great players do,” said Scott. “The last two games, his shot selection has been great, but he hasn’t gotten the number of shots we’d like him to get on normal basis — but everything else has been up so you can’t argue with that.”
Kobe’s teammates stopped deferring to him so much, which is exactly what Scott wanted. And it worked! A more-balance offense with Kobe taking fewer bad shots meant more good shots for everyone else. Why would Scott want to move away from that?
I understand coaching Kobe is complicated, and he requires special treatment, as do nearly all players with star status. But it seems the Lakers, in the process of serving Kobe, are just intent on pushing the bounds of their absurdity.