Byron Scott: Lakers’ offense ‘a lot more settled’ with Kobe Bryant

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Kobe Bryant missed the Lakers’ last game, a 19-point loss to the Suns.

His biggest fan misses him.

Lakers coach Byron Scott, via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

“He knows the offense extremely well, so he can tell guys where they need to be and how to get to it. It was a lot more settled, and it was obvious to me, watching the Detroit game and then watching us against Phoenix. When he was out there, the offense, it ran more smoothly.”

“Having Kobe out there helps,” Scott said, laughing while remembering the 97-85 victory over the Pistons. “We were able to get the ball moving [against Detroit] and our biggest thing is trying to get three or four passes before we look for shots. We get the defense moving from side to side and then we can look to attack. And I don’t think we did a real good job of that against Phoenix.”

Scott has a point. The Lakers score more per possession, assist more baskets and turn the ball over less with Kobe on the court.

But Kobe has played a majority of his minutes with D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Roy Hibbert – four of the Lakers’ better players. How much does that cloud Kobe’s impact?

One other Laker has played a significant amount with that quartet: Metta World Peace. In those minutes, the Lakers score even more per possession, assist even more baskets and turn the ball over even less than when the foursome plays with Kobe.

Kobe’s wild gun-slinging – he’s shooting 34% from the field and 23% on 3-pointers – hurts the Lakers’ offense. He might know the game incredibly well and get to the right spots, but I just don’t see the offense functioning better with him on the court.

If World Peace makes a strong case as a better stabilizer than Kobe, maybe Scott ought to re-think his perception of Kobe.

(Not that he ever will.)