Whenever Kobe takes less shots and/or racks up assists, some people say that he’s sacrificing for the team. Well coach Mike D’Antoni looks at it another way. Read more after the jump.
During the Lakers 102-84 win over the Utah Jazz, Kobe racked up 14 assists and 14 points off only 10 shot attempts. Kobe usually takes twice as many shots and his stat for the night was less than the 28.9 points per game he’s averaging. But the Lakers won, so maybe this isn’t Kobe “sacrificing”, this is how he’s supposed to play.
“If you win, is it really a sacrifice or is it, ‘Yeah, you played the right way?’ ” D’Antoni said after practice Saturday. “I don’t know if it was a sacrifice, is all, but (Bryant) set the tone. There’s no doubt about it. He played like Oscar Robertson played back in the day — 14 assists, nine rebounds, and he got easy shots all over the place. Some nights it’s 14 points, some nights it’s 30 points, but he’ll read the defense.”
Kobe finished today with 21 points in 12 shot attempts, 9 rebounds and 14 assists in the Lakers 105-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. I’m not one of those who believes Kobe has to rack up double digit assists, after all he is a shooting guard not a point guard. However given the Lakers current situation, I say do whatever seems to work and this system is currently working.