Writers’ Roundtable: Lakers Starting 5 Training Camp To-Do’s

What does Lakers SG Kobe Bryant need to work on during training camp?

Josh Sexton: Making the proper adjustments. Make no mistake, this is still Kobe’s team, and the fourth quarter will still be Kobe time. But now that Dwight Howard is manning the middle, you can make the argument Kobe is no longer the best player on the Lakers. Additionally, he will have to acclimate to sharing the backcourt with a hall of fame caliber point guard. To accommodate his aging body, Kobe has been making adjustments to his game for years. Now he will have to make adjustments to playing alongside the most talented group of teammates he’s played with since being drafted by the Lakers. Knowing Kobe, he will rise to the occasion valiantly.

Suki Thind: For Kobe, I anticipate him making yet another change in his game this season. Perhaps he can focus on catch-and-shoot drills (I’m sure he already does plenty of these, anyway) more than his one-on-one game–just a little bit. He’ll arguably receive more open looks than he has in his whole career, so it would be beneficial for him to be able to make moves and score off-ball.

Elizabeth Benson: Kobe Bryant needs to take a step back and relearn how to play the traditional two-guard position. Unlike critics, I don’t think Kobe will be unwilling to hand some control over to Steve Nash. In fact, he has commented on how excited and probably relieved he is to return to his natural position. I would like to see Kobe to work on his catch and shoot accuracy because the presence of Nash and the Princeton O will create much more of catch and shoot opportunities for Kobe. This will be a bit of a different landscape for Kobe, who has been used to isolation plays for the last several years.

Jabari Davis: Bryant probably has the largest adjustments to make, as his role will be most impacted by the roster additions. Not only does Nash now become the primary ball-handler/play-maker, but Bryant actually (finally) has what the Lakers hope will be a viable back-up (Jodie Meeks) at his position. Let’s not fool ourselves, while Bryant has publicly acknowledged his eagerness to play a traditional scorer’s role, he’s still a natural born play-maker. It’s in his DNA, and it will be fun watching Bryant develop/create that balance. Like a kid with all types of brand new toys on Christmas morning.

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