Kobe Bryant's Ill 40 Not Enough vs. Pacers
Much to the dismay of, well, everyone watching the game tonight, the Lakers looked lost on offense all night. It looked like the Lakers immediately after the Shaquille O'Neal trade, one that completely deferred to Kobe on every single offensive possession because they had not and inkling of what else to do.
Kobe dropped 40 and grabbed 10 rebounds. He also turned the ball over 10 times, which is a direct result of handling the ball so often. He scored over 50% of the Lakers points and commit 55% of the Lakers turnovers.
This team misses Steve Nash because he should take the ball out of Kobe's hands so he can deliver the ball to Bryant at an area on the court where he can succeed. That is what a point guard is for, especially one as talented as Nash.
If Nash cannot come back anytime soon, do not expect the Lakers to embody consistency because relying on Darius Morris and Chris Duhon to run the point will just not work. Adding insult to injury, Pau Gasol doesn't appear to have his quickness in the post so he essentially becomes a soft, oversized mid-range jump-shooter who occasionally will be active on the glass.
Mike D'Antoni will not be able to fix the Lakers issues as they currently stand. Terrible team free-throw shooting, a high turnover rate and the inability to run a cohesive offense will be like D'Antoni's Knicks team on repeat: a ball-stopping scorer in Kobe (Carmelo), big men that clog the middle in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard (Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler) and an inconsistent supporting cast.
If Nash never returns healthy, will this team even reach the conference semifinals?