Has Lakers’ Kobe Bryant turned a corner in farewell season?

first_imgBryant has since tried a less-is-more approach, which has also aided the development of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. In their win over Milwaukee on Tuesday, the Lakers recorded a season-high 26 assists. “He’s letting the game come to him,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “He’s great at seeing the floor. When he wants to be a facilitator, guys really really seem to get themselves available.”Scott argued this serves as “the blueprint” on how he wants his team to play. But he put that onus less on Bryant and more on his younger teammates’ learning curve. Case in point, Scott revealed he has reduced Russell’s freedom to call his own plays as he has averaged 17.4 points on 40.2 percent shooting and 4.4 assists in the last five games. “Sometimes when we have young guys like we do, they get stubborn,” Scott said. “They have a real good game, so they try to go back to the way they tried to do it. That just doesn’t work for us. If we move the ball on a consistent basis, we have chances to win basketball games.”The Lakers also have a chance if Bryant continues to delay Father Time. The jolly man laughed as he posed for pictures with children. The kids may have shared what they wanted for Christmas. But the man was not Santa Claus. The man was Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who became the center of attention during the franchise’s annual holiday party for 60 kids from School On Wheels, a tutoring service for homeless students.Of course, Bryant has his own wishlist and likely wants more than just an “iPad Pro.” He would probably like the Lakers (4-21) to build off of a rare win when they host the Houston Rockets (12-14) on Thursday at Staples Center. Bryant would likely want to replicate his recent play, where he has averaged 18.2 points on 47.2 percent shooting and 4.2 assists in the past five games.“I’m moving well, I’m not sore after games,” Bryant said. “From the challenge of where I started at the beginning of the season to where I am now, I feel good.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Bryant did not feel that way in the beginning of the season. Before his recent surge, Bryant averaged 16.6 points, while shooting 30.5 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3-point range in 31.6 minutes per game. The 37-year-old Bryant also described his timing as “a game-to-game-thing” as he fought rustiness stemmed from three season-ending injuries in consecutive seasons. “Either I was going to get through it or I wasn’t,” said Bryant, who believed he turned a corner in last week’s loss in San Antonio. “But I wasn’t going to capitulate to it and not try. I was going to continue to work.”What if that didn’t work? “It just means I can’t overcome Father Time at this moment of time,” Bryant said. “I would have been fine with that, because I literally tried everything.”last_img

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