How Will Kobe Bryant Fare this NBA Season with the Lakers?

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 5:28 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Lakers are done with Mike D’Antoni. They now move to former Laker great Byron Scott as their new head coach. Is this a band-aid or should you consider them with your NBA picks?

What To Expect From Kobe This Season
In the 2013-2014 season, Bryant played just six games before fracturing his tibia. Bryant had logged so many minutes over most of the previous several seasons, and what’s more is that he played so many postseason minutes through 2011 while taking it upon himself to be responsible for the vast majority of the Lakers’ scoring production. Kobe is and always has been an individualist on the court. He relishes one-on-one isolation situations and has usually been able to hit the big jumper when his team needs it. Kobe does go through a lot of games in which he scores 27 to 30 points on more than 24 shots. He’ll go 10-of-24 from the field and hit nine free throws, or something like that. In the six games he played last season, Kobe shot 42.5 percent from the field, averaging 29.5 minutes per game.

This season, it has already been announced by Scott, the Lakers’ coach, that Kobe will be playing under a consistent minutes restriction, but the duration of that restriction is what a lot of people will be wondering about. The Lakers are not expected to make the playoffs, but if they’re going to make any sort of run, Kobe needs to be at the heart of that effort, at least this year. The Lakers, though, could very possibly think that they need to gently guide Kobe through this season and hope that he has maybe two or three more seasons in him, not just one. If the Lakers can add some pieces after the 2014-2015 season, they might be able to build back the franchise.

Who is there to help Kobe on the Laker roster? Carlos Boozer got picked up from Chicago. Jeremy Lin came over from Houston. Julius Randle was taken in the top 10 of the 2014 NBA Draft. Those additions have some measure of value, but will Boozer be able to play better than he did in the later stages of his unremarkable stay in Chicago? Lin made that splash with the New York Knicks a few years ago, but he has never lived up to that hype and publicity in Houston with the Rockets. He could be a good point guard for Kobe to play with, but he’s not going to be a great one, and that’s going to hold the Lakers back. Randle showNew s a lot of potential, but he will probably need a rookie season to adjust to the pace of the NBA game. Kobe does not have a single superstar-level player alongside him, and that’s going to hurt.

 

How To Bet The News
When considering your NBA picks keep in mind this is one of the NBA’s all-time great players, but without much of a support system in place, not to mention the early season minutes restriction, the Lakers are still a team that should not be counted on to make the playoffs. This team is held together with duct tape and shoe strings. Boozer and Lin could be an upgrade, but they are also other team’s castoffs. With a banged up Bryant and a tough conference, chances are this team misses the playoffs again.