Posted January 19, 2013

Mike D’Antoni says Kobe will defend primary scorers for rest of the season

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be expected to defend their opponents best scorer from now on.  (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be expected to defend their opponents best scorer from now on. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t known for putting the best defensive teams out on the court, usually trying his hand at running and gunning a team out of the gym.

Now that the Lakers are in dire straits with a real possibility of missing the playoffs, D’Antoni said that he will put guard Kobe Bryant on the opposing team’s best player and primary scoring option.

The Lakers rank 17th in the NBA in defense giving up 103.4 points per 100 possessions and 26th overall giving up 101.4 points per game. The Western Conference is full of shooting and point guards that Bryant will be expected to defend the rest of the season.

When asked how many more games Bryant will guard primary scorers, D’Antoni said, “43. Unless he dies first.”

After Thursday’s night loss at home to the Miami Heat, the Lakers are 17-22, three and a half games out of the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.


Brilliant defensive "strategy" D'Antoni. You haven't got a clue how to coach defense so you just put the load on Kobe to stop the opponent's best player one-on-one? That worked out real well against the Heat the other night. Let's see, your leading scorer and best player is 34 years-old and not only are you playing him 40+ minutes a game expecting him to score 30 points a night, but now you have him chasing around guys 10 years younger than him? All because you have no idea how to draw up defensive schemes, trap the ball-handler, tighten up help rotations, spot the weaknesses on the opponent's offense? No, let's just throw any type of defensive coherency out the window and just have Kobe quickly pick up fouls running around wearing down his legs with no foresight toward the remainder of the season and the playoffs (granted that looks highly unlikely now) and play "hero ball" not only on offense but on defense as well? Man, that you were even mentioned in the same breath, let alone chosen over Phil Jackson is just mindblowing (and not in a good way).

Art Saquilayan
Art Saquilayan

Lakers team has been laden with a lot of injuries especially their star players ,except Kobe,hat he had a hard time adjusting his tempo, and skills with other teammates. Injuries can be a very big factor in coping with the dictates of the game. It is like playing with only one hand and one leg. @Art Saquilayan 


All Kobe does is chase the ball anyway.  Might as well put him on the guy that will hopefully be getting the ball the most often.


Or, you know, the coach could put on his big boy pants and freaking bench Kobe until he starts playing proper team-defense again for the first time this season.  But apparently that isn't an option in LA.