Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Punk-101 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:30 am

When Steve Nash signed, we all wondered how Kobe would play in a less ball-dominant role with Nash as the floor general. Kobe was asked by the media and he said something along the lines of "are you kidding me, he'll make scoring easier for me by setting me up..". Well, the ball-dominant Nash experiment didn't fly very long with Kobe.

Obviously the injury to Nash changed everything. But even when Nash came back and claimed to "feel great", he wasn't given back he keys to the offense, and instead turned into uber-Fisher...with great results. So the question is this. Why wasn't Nash the floor general when healthy? Did the injury limit him that much, and if he never got injured he WOULD be the true PG? Is it that our roster with two bigs and no shooters that rendered Nash's pg game impotent?

If Nash stays for the rest of his contract (gasp), I think he'll be a glorified sg, with Kobe the facilitator and scorer, leaving no energy for defense. Or, if we can shed some major salary in the summer, the FO will be content with a $9mil Nash as a backup PG and go after a young starting PG. Or maybe Nash will retire if he reinjures himself and we'll go after a starting PG.

So...what type of PG do we go after? As long as Kobe's here will it have to be a glorified SG? Will Kobe play off ball and allow a true floor general PG to do his thing? He didn't let Sessions by cursing at him for the ball, and Ramon didn't have the figs to run the offense and tell Kobe no. If the CP3 deal had gone through, would Kobe have allowed him to run the show? One would think, of course, but I'm honestly not sure. Is it a matter of respect and trust for Kobe to relinquish the reins of the offense? He didn't respect Sessions, he saw Nash was incapable due to injury and poor roster fit for that style, but he would respect CP3 or someone else?

I know Kobe's BBall IQ is off the charts, so I would assume that his insistence to not play off-ball was always the right Xs/Os move, but I also know kobe gets into "give me the f*****g ball mode" (to score or facilitate) because that's just his nature and muscle memory for 17 years.

So CL GMs, hypothetically Nash reinjures himself tonight *knock-wood* and retires after this PO series. What type of PG do you go after this summer? (let's assume Kobe is going to play 2-3 more years and comes back at 80-90% himself)
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby DuddlyDoRight on Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:43 am

I mean, I don't hell ever play completely off the ball, it would be a misuse of his talent; however, I don't think he has a problem doing it for stretches. Its tough, because they tried running traditional offense and letting nash run things, but it wasnt working, at all, so they ended up running Kobe isos because it was the only dependable offense.

I do find it somewhat of a conundrum that Kobe played nash's facilitator role infinitely better then nash himself performed it when Kobe went on those insane assist total games. Its tough, I dont know what the answer is. If Kobes going to play off the ball you have to show him proof that its going to work. Thus far, the proof hasnt been anywhere near the pudding.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Rooscooter on Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:52 am

Kobe dominating the ball isn't directly related to who we have playing PG IMO.... it's more a product of the fact we have only one player on the roster that can create his own shot. Solve that with a SF that can score and create and he will BE ABLE to play off the ball.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby wcsoldier81 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:57 am

It really doesn't matter that much ... defense should be the number 1 priority and the Nash Kobe backcourt didn't play any
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby lakerfan2 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:11 am

We need a defensive minded PG who doesn't need the ball to be effective on offense, and when he does, can produce a la Avery Bradley. Yeah, he's on the C's, but I love that kid's tenacity.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Savory Griddles on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:38 am

Kyle Lowry is another good choice for this team over the next two years. I would like to see Nash traded, not because I dislike him or want to pile on him, but he's not a good fit for this team and as long as he's taking up major minutes in the backcourt, this team can't contend. Artest-Kobe-Nash as our starting smalls is possibly the worst defensive perimeter in the league.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Armani on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:46 am

We produced better results with the ball in Kobe's hands. If Nash were a few years younger, I am sure Kobe would've worked just fine off ball. After that Heat game where our offense fell completely flat playing through Nash, they decided to switch to giving Kobe the on ball load, and have Nash work more off ball.

Sessions isn't a starter in this league, so asking him to run the O and have work Kobe off ball would've done us no good at all.

Basically, we haven't seen Kobe with a true all star prime PG. Chris Paul won't be a Laker, and neither will Deron. I am wondering how Kyrie Irving would work out for us. With Mike Brown there, we can definitely take him from Cleveland.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby nameant on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:51 am

No. If he wouldn't do it with a future HOFer like Nash, he won't do it with anybody. Let's not kid ourselves. He is who he is.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby The Rock on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:53 am

As long as we win he'll do it. Keep in mind he gave up scoring to completely pass the ball during one stretch in late Jan and early FEB, if he can do that he can definitely play without the ball. It all comes down to results. Are we winning, if we're not then give Kobe the ball
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby The Rock on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:54 am

nameant wrote:No. If he wouldn't do it with a future HOFer like Nash, he won't do it with anybody. Let's not kid ourselves. He is who he is.


You're acting like that produced great results and Kobe tried stopping that, come on man. You know how it goes if its working and we're winning Kobe don't care
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby therealdeal on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:58 am

I'll put it this way:

If we had traded Gasol for Chris Paul, I think we would have seen Kobe gladly play off the ball more.

I think it would have worked nicer with Steve Nash, but with Brown in place at first he neutralized BOTH of them in the offense. Then Nash goes down and by the time he gets back, Kobe is in full "My Team" mode. Not to mention Nash never really was healthy enough, long enough for anyone to trust him with the ball. Remember the game against Miami? He was frequently trapped, turnover prone... He hasn't looked like Hall of Famer Steve Nash all season, why SHOULD Kobe have trusted him?

Short answer: yes. But it takes a lot.

The better question moving forward is: does he have a choice?
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Murdock on Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:12 am

On rare occasions when Kobe played off the ball he wasn't setting off ball picks or using them that much ... even in team USA he doesn't play much off ball basketball he waits for a ball and creates but never really is playing off the ball as Ray Allen, Hamilton, Redd are .. because for him it doesn't make sence and I agree ... yet I think we need more balance because we are wasting Nash
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby The Rock on Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:16 am

We played 28-12 with Nash off the ball. Enough said. Like someone else brought up in this thread we need a scoring SF to take pressure off Kobe because Nash cant get it done night in and night out as teams main playmaker.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Vasashi17 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:43 am

As many have brought up, Kobe's true nature isn't of the off-ball variety. However, just like the way he's changed his approach in preparing for the game (ie stretches, diets, etc), if he wants to extend his playing career he knows, he has to be less ball dominant moving forward.

I think CP3 would have been perfect for this team. He's a two way player (granted with theatrics, but it does get the job done). He isn't the best perimeter defender, but he does have active hands that disrupt alot. He's obviously a playmaker as well that can allow Kobe to pace himself throughout the game and stay weakside on offense from time to time.

Dwight isn't a Shaq or a Gasol on offense and normally those are the types that Kobe meshes well with. A true scoring big is when Kobe becomes less ball dominant. We truly have never seen Kobe play with a dominant scoring perimeter player however, so we really don't know if he would be as ball dominant in that scenario.

But if you go back to the Olympics, he let the volume scoring get done by Bron and Durant, while he played some really admirable defense on the oppositions best perimeter player.

I think that is the proper blueprint moving forward. Kobe, if need be, can create a shot for himself and normally likes to close games. So, as others have stated, bring in a legitimate perimeter scorer and allow Kobe to put much more effort on defense (recall what he did to Bron at ASG). He will pace his scoring out throughout the game...but if the game is in doubt, now you go to your closer. This way, you also add longevity to Kobe's career.

I think missing out on CP3 was huge...but if you can parlay Pau into a 2 way wing, I truly believe Kobe will reform and play more off ball/weakside and concentrate on other aspects of the game.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby nameant on Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:58 am

The Rock wrote:
nameant wrote:No. If he wouldn't do it with a future HOFer like Nash, he won't do it with anybody. Let's not kid ourselves. He is who he is.


You're acting like that produced great results and Kobe tried stopping that, come on man. You know how it goes if its working and we're winning Kobe don't care

I'm not acting like anything. We've been watching the guy since 96 we know what kind of player he is. Even in All-Star and Olympic games most of the time he's got the ball a lot and is taking a lot of shots. For the most part this year Kobe just played like Kobe, when was he deferring to Nash? The entire beginning of the season was a mess so I wouldn't take anything out of that. Either Nash has drastically declined or he just wasn't given a real shot to play the way he usually does.

We played 28-12 with Nash off the ball. Enough said.

Yeah...and it led to Kobe playing 48 minutes a night and ended his season.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Vasashi17 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:03 am

^^^Seriously...Kobe being ball dominant won't win titles. And not only that, its totally unfair and irresponsible to demand that from him at this stage in his career.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby The Rock on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:09 am

nameant wrote:
The Rock wrote:
nameant wrote:No. If he wouldn't do it with a future HOFer like Nash, he won't do it with anybody. Let's not kid ourselves. He is who he is.


You're acting like that produced great results and Kobe tried stopping that, come on man. You know how it goes if its working and we're winning Kobe don't care

I'm not acting like anything. We've been watching the guy since 96 we know what kind of player he is. Even in All-Star and Olympic games most of the time he's got the ball a lot and is taking a lot of shots. For the most part this year Kobe just played like Kobe, when was he deferring to Nash? The entire beginning of the season was a mess so I wouldn't take anything out of that. Either Nash has drastically declined or he just wasn't given a real shot to play the way he usually does.

We played 28-12 with Nash off the ball. Enough said.

Yeah...and it led to Kobe playing 48 minutes a night and ended his season.


Since you also watched the Olympics and our 5 rings you should also know that he'll defer when we're winning...3 rings with Shaq, Game 7 vs HOU 2009 (4/13 but he defended Aaron Brooks), Game 5 vs OKC 2010 (defended Westbrook who was killin D-Fish...we won the next game also where Kobe defended him AT OKC), Game 2 and 5 (on a damn busted ankle) vs New Orleans in 2011. What have you been watching? As long as we win he'll defer, its pretty damn simple. He does whatever it takes to help the team win. Nash wasn't himself at all this year due to injuries and its clear he wasn't able to get it done as a playmaker/facilitator but hes still pretty damn good so we used him in areas where hes still useful...his spot up shooting played a huge part in this team during 28-12 run not his playmaking/facilitating.

And like Kobe's trainer himself said the minutes weren't the reason Kobe hurt himself
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby TIME on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:12 am

The failure of the Nash experiment was not because Kobe could not / would not relinquish the ball. It was because of how the rest of the team was constructed. If we replace Gasol, MWP, and Meeks with a true stretch 4, a starting SF that can consistently hit a 3, and a more consistent bench swing who can shoot the 3, then Nash would have been fine as long as he was healthy.

The problem is that without shooters, the PG has to be able to do one of two things every time down the court; either create his own shot or break down the D so he can get D12 a decent look. At Nash's age that was asking too much. So, by default, Kobe was the only one that could do those two things every time down. Replace Nash with Kyrie or Steph, or CP3, etc. and Kobe would have zero issue fitting with their game.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby pound4pound1 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:15 am

the only time's i've seen Kobe truly play off ball is at All Star Games and the Olympics...and even then, there will still be times that he dominates the ball...
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby trodgers on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:16 am

He'll do whatever it takes to win.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Chillbongo on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:25 am

I'll add to it. I think Kobe would defer given the right circumstances, but Nash didn't pan out like we all expected.

Injuries played a part but we never even gave the pick and roll a real chance - that's the kind of offense we were supposed to run with Nash.

Then cue Mike D'Antoni and Nash was injured for a while. He looked fine after coming back from the injury but wasn't able to be himself. A lot of that is due to our personnel. We have bigs crowding the lane and unreliable shooters for spacing.

To top it off I just don't think our coaches ever orchestrated a true offense. Those PHX teams had great shooters, but got a lot of buckets by setting screens, moving the ball, and cutting to the basket. Lots of layups and easy buckets provided by Nash passes.

Why wasn't Nash/MDA able to recreate it in LA? Maybe because of our roster, but maybe Nash is just old and unable to beat his man off the dribble like he used to. Maybe our coaches didn't have the playbooks to figure out the right offense for us. Cue Kobe iso offense.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby gcclaker on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:43 am

Nash handled the ball a majority of the time with Phoenix and their offense revolved around fluid, athletic wing players. Even Stoudemire was more mobile than who we have now. With this group, Gasol facilitates, Bryant facilitates, World Peace thinks he facilitates...so on and so forth. With the time missed by all parties except 24, there never was enough time for the crew to familiarize themselves with each other. Their on-court "feel" was stunted to a good degree. Princeton offense...7 seconds or less...power game. No continuity in that regard.

With all of those factors, Bryant NEVER developed a comfort level with Nash. D'Antoni never adjusted nor was flexible enough in his thinking to play up to the personnel's strenghts. 80 something games to see the light that Gasol and Howard could work together? Really...? With a capable, creative wing player to provide support for both he and Nash, I would tend to believe Bryant would be able to and love playing off the ball with a true PG. He won't have to work as hard and just shoot which is his mentality anyway.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Punk-101 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:45 am

Rooscooter wrote:Kobe dominating the ball isn't directly related to who we have playing PG IMO.... it's more a product of the fact we have only one player on the roster that can create his own shot. Solve that with a SF that can score and create and he will BE ABLE to play off the ball.


TIME wrote:The failure of the Nash experiment was not because Kobe could not / would not relinquish the ball. It was because of how the rest of the team was constructed. If we replace Gasol, MWP, and Meeks with a true stretch 4, a starting SF that can consistently hit a 3, and a more consistent bench swing who can shoot the 3, then Nash would have been fine as long as he was healthy.

The problem is that without shooters, the PG has to be able to do one of two things every time down the court; either create his own shot or break down the D so he can get D12 a decent look. At Nash's age that was asking too much. So, by default, Kobe was the only one that could do those two things every time down. Replace Nash with Kyrie or Steph, or CP3, etc. and Kobe would have zero issue fitting with their game.


I think these two responses are the most intriguing insights. (I hope they complement eachother, as why I lumped them together)

EDIT: gcc's right ^^^there is great too and in the same vein

Since a starting SF and a healthy Nash or a starting PG are the necessary cogs, on which would either of you place your chips, (assuming best possible scenarios for gasol trade, blake trade, and either amnesty or opt-out&resign Metta) under the mindset that the FO is willing to do all within reason to milk Kobe's last few years? (Yes, I know the death tax thing, Roos :man12: )

Would you place your chips with the best possible SF and roll the dice with Nash being healthy enough to start? Or do you place your chips with the best possible PG, an adequate SF, and run Nash as backup PG? I know neither may be likely, so just humor me with the hypothetical of bext case scenario of what ideally should be done.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby Chillbongo on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:57 am

Best possible PG. We need that guy who can break down the defense. A PG that can do that will free up Dwight's defender and put the defense in all kinds of havoc. If that PG can also hit the 3, we're looking at money.

Get me an adequate 3 that can play defense, hit a 3 and put the ball on the floor a bit, and we'll be fine. Basically an NBA starter version of Earl Clark -- someone with his abilities but more reliable and with a more polished skill set.
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Re: Can/Will Kobe play off-ball with a true PG?

Postby gcclaker on Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:00 am

Chillbongo wrote:Best possible PG. We need that guy who can break down the defense. A PG that can do that will free up Dwight's defender and put the defense in all kinds of havoc. If that PG can also hit the 3, we're looking at money.

Get me an adequate 3 that can play defense, hit a 3 and put the ball on the floor a bit, and we'll be fine. Basically an NBA starter version of Earl Clark -- someone with his abilities but more reliable and with a more polished skill set.

That guy that I had in mind is in Toronto...the other one closest is on constant re-hab with his wheels in Indy. On a realistic scale, I would go for Wilson Chandler.

Eric Bledsoe anyone? Is he even a possibility? I like his toughness, built like a small tank, fast with an attitude and is a very good defender.
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