During the first month of the 2014-15 NBA season, Kobe Bryant has played much better than expected. Although Kobe’s shooting percentage has left something to be desired at 38.6, the five-time NBA champion is definitely back to form as an elite scorer.
Kobe led the league in scoring heading into the matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at 27.5 points per game, but only finished with 17 points. Bryant went 6-for-22 from the floor and admitted not being up to par physically after the game, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Kobe: "For me my legs just weren't there. It's just one of those things to try to work through." (on @TWCSportsNet
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 22, 2014
At 36-years-old, Kobe is bound to show signs of wear and tear this season. Facing a very good Mavericks squad in the final game of a three-game road trip is no easy task for a team still trying to figure things out. Kobe has shouldered the offensive load all season long, but unlike the last two games, Nick Young was unable to help out in that department with a season-low five points.
Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre all scored in double figures against Dallas, but it was nowhere near enough to keep the Lakers in the game. Dallas is the highest scoring team in the league at 108.9 points per game and showed they can light up the scoreboard on Friday with a season-high 140 points against the Lakers.
The Lakers were exposed for their defensive problems on the perimeter once again with the Mavs hitting 18-for-35 from beyond the arc finishing with an incredibly efficient percentage of 51.4. Until Los Angeles figure out how to contain teams like Dallas from destroying them from deep, this team’s defensive woes will be a persistent problem.[divide]
Kobe, ‘Things Go Good, It’s Us. Things Go Bad, It’s Me’