Kobe Bryant struggled to find his rhythm offensively (10-24) Sunday night in the Lakers overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets. Bryant suggested that he was “too passive” in the third quarter, possibly hindering his rhythm.
Still with 15.1 seconds in regulation, coming out of a timeout, and the Lakers and Nuggets tied at 86, the Lakers spread the floor for Bryant with the game on the line. With the clock winding down (0.9 seconds) Bryant missed a well-contested fadeaway, gifting the Nuggets an overtime period. Post-game, Bryant agreed he could have gotten a better shot, but also said it was the shot he’s practiced his “entire career.”
After the game, Nick Young suggested the Lakers got away from sharing the ball. He said at times they rely on Bryant too much.
Kobe is going to be Kobe but somehow we’ve gotta find a way to put that ball in the hole with everybody else,” Young said after the game.
Earlier this season, Lakers head coach Byron Scott admitted the Lakers have tendencies to watch Bryant. However, when asked if this was the case against Denver, despite Kobe missing 10 of his final 13 shots, Scott did not think so.
Jeremy Lin played a much more aggressive game on Sunday, finishing with 17 points and five assists. Together, the Lakers backcourt of Lin and Bryant combined for 44 points with nine rebounds and nine assists. Regarding whether the Lakers should be running their offense or deferring to Bryant for one-on-one in crunch time, Lin understandably found it a “tough question.”
He’s a tough shot taker and a tough shot maker and he’s a superstar. And, sometimes you’ve got to give him that freedom to go and be who he is and do what he does and sometimes you’ve got to find a way to keep the flow and stuff. It’s a balance, and I think we’re a lot closer towards that balance than we were maybe in the beginning.
The Lakers record drops to just 3-11. Los Angeles has a tough home stand ahead, facing the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.[divide]
VIDEO: Bryant Thought He Was A Bit ‘Too Passive’ In The Third Quarter