No Shaq, Kobe is on his own, it's déjà vu isn't it; it's so similar that the Lakers and Heat are even playing each other again on Christmas. Bryant had a year to work out the kinks and brought back Phil Jackson. Last year was the first year EVER that the Clippers had a better record than the Lakers. Unless the Lakers turn things around, that's not going to change.When a team's biggest off-season signing is Kwame Brown, you know they have an interesting team.
To this point, Kwame has been a complete bust, spending more time injured than actually playing. Smush Parker has become a quality PG after playing in obscurity everywhere else. Smush has shown a good stroke along with decent penetration.
Sasha Vujajic is the only consistent 3-pt shooter they have and is a standout in the triangle offense.The Lakers are the most ridiculous team I've seen in a while. And it's not because they are the worse team in the NBA, it's just that they completely abolish the "there's no I in team" motto. Bryant is taking 31.6 shots per 48 minutes and has attempted over 30 shots seven times.
He takes more shots than Lamar Odom and Smush Parker combined. He is a great defensive player, but he doesn't make his teammates better on offense. If anything, he makes them worse.Kobe is having the worst year of his career, shooting 42.
9% (2nd lowest in his career), mainly since he is forcing most of his shots. With the added players, you'd think Kobe would be an assisting contributor for his other players. Instead, his assists are actually down 1.4 from last year at 4.6 APG, a career low. Phil Jackson wanted Odom to be more assertive, but he hasn't been so far.
He and Parker actually provide a suitable supporting cast, but there aren't opportunities for either to score on their own.The Lakers at 10-9 could theoretically make the playoffs since the West is wide open. Nevertheless they have to expand their offense and their roster.
A serious blessing in disguise would be if Kobe was injured for about a week. That would give Odom, Parker and Mihm an opportunity to better play amongst themselves, so they could be better contributors when Kobe returned. They need something like this to shake up the roster in a good way; otherwise they aren't a playoff team..
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By: David Pincus