On Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott decided to rest Kobe Bryant against the Golden State Warriors. With the five-time champion trying to recover in time for the Christmas Day game against the Chicago Bulls, the Lakers surprised the best team in the NBA with strong ball movement in route to a 115-105 victory.
Following the game, Scott spoke about the idea that the Lakers play better without Kobe based on statistics according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Byron Scott to those that think the numbers indicate that Lakers play better without Kobe: "I would say people are crazy."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 24, 2014
Throughout the season, the Lakers have struggled with ball movement and their defensive intensity has suffered. Against the Warriors, the Lakers played with consistent energy on the defensive end which resulted in 52 percent shooting from the field.
After an impressive win on Tuesday, the Lakers have a difficult schedule ahead as they face the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks on a back-to-back. With Kobe expected to return on Thursday to face Pau Gasol for the first time this season since leaving Los Angeles, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers will be able to continue their strong ball movement.[divide]
Byron Scott On Team Confidence Without Kobe Bryant, And Moving Away From Kobe As A ‘Security Blanket’