We already know that the Lakers are requiring far too much of Kobe Bryant at such an early point in the season. Sure, it is a shortened season but the games are stacked on top of each other like tenants in one of Donald Sterling’s buildings in K-Town.
While Kobe is looking very refreshed after an extended offseason and some highly experimental yet effective treatment, there is still concern regarding how long he’ll hold up.
If it takes 40 from KB24 just to beat the Cavs in January then what will it take to best the Thunder in a seven-game series in May? Inquiring minds want to know.
We also want to know if Mike Brown has a plan to scale back some of the mega minutes Bryant has been playing. He might look younger out there but Bryant’s NBA age tells the real story. The reality is that Kobe can’t possibly make it through this season logging 37 minutes a night as he has been thus far.
Problem is there isn’t anyone behind Kobe that can give the Lake Show consistent minutes while Bryant gets a blow. Once upon a time Shannon Brown provided a trustworthy 20 minutes a night that allowed Mamba to marinate. Now that ShanWow has taken his talents to Phoenix, Coach Brown is using a backup by committee approach.
Without the triangle offense, the Lakers have to actually utilize players at their natural position. Previously, guys like Steve Blake could spell Kobe from time to time as the guard positions were interchangeable in the triangle.
That is no longer the case with Brown running the show. The Lakers need an actual two-guard to play behind Kobe. Thus far Jason Kapono and Andrew Goudelock have given it a go without providing much to write home about.
Kapono is a defensive liability and Goudelock is a very undersized two by NBA standards.
There just really aren’t many options for the Lakers at this point. Mitch Kupchak has yet another item to add to his list. Getting Bryant a capable backup is important for a lot of reasons.
Obviously as the rigors of the season stack the Lakers will need to give Kobe some rest. Also, should the unthinkable occur and Kobe misses time due to injury the Lakers will be without any perimeter player capable of getting their own shot. In that instance the already struggling offense will become as impotent as Hugh Hefner after downing a fifth and lying around in sun.