Lakers Practice Report: Kobe Suggests He Needs To Move Off The Ball

The Los Angeles Lakers dedicated Wednesday to watching film before getting back on the practice floor on Thursday.

The Lakers still have Friday and Saturday practices before returning to game action on Sunday night against the Charlotte Hornets.

Lakers head coach Byron Scott said they decided to let Lakers forward Ryan Kelly rest for an extra day on Thursday. After playing in just a few minutes in Tuesday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns, Kelly told reporters he was feeling some tightening in his hamstring. Scott says they’ll see how Kelly feels tomorrow.

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A common observation of the Lakers 0-5 start to the season has been the tendency of teammates to watch Kobe Bryant on offense. Responding to questions about that tendency, Bryant said the Lakers will be more efficient offensively if they move him off the ball, instead of him initiating the offense:

Moving me off the ball and getting picks off the ball as opposed to me initiating the offense and then controlling everything from there,” Bryant said in response to what can be done to counteract the defer-to-Kobe syndrome. “I think it has to be Jeremy (Lin) and (Carlos) Boozer and those guys making plays.”

Lakers guard Wayne Ellington admitted that players get caught up in deferring to Bryant, despite Kobe wanting his teammates to get involved:

I’ve heard him say numerous times, ‘Don’t watch.’ Even if he has the ball, cut, set screens for each other, move without the ball. Sometimes you get caught up in watching, also guys tend to lose themselves in terms of being aggressive.”

After playing 44 minutes, scoring 39 points and jumping over courtside seats in Tuesday night’s game, Kobe said he genuinely felt good the next day. Scott said after their day dedicated to watching film on Wednesday, Bryant even told Scott he was ready to practice. Scott smiled and stuck to the film session.

With two more full days of practice until their next game, the Lakers have plenty of time to prepare for their next opponent on Sunday, the Charlotte Hornets.

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