L.A. Lakers: Should Kobe Bryant Still Be the 1st Option on Offense?

I'm not sure what offensive approach new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown will take, but if his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers is any indication then it will likely feature guard Kobe Bryant as the primary scoring option.

But is that still the best direction for the Lakers to take?

I'm confident that Bryant is capable of guiding the Lakers offense as he has for most of the past decade, but it may be time to shift the attention and focus of the Lakers attack to the paint.

The Lakers were swept out of the 2011 postseason by the Dallas Mavericks, but the loss doesn't change the fact that the interior of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom will still be among the NBA's strongest post units next season.

And unless Brown decides to continue running the triangle offense, it would be wise to play to the strengths of his team in his first season as coach, and without question the Lakers biggest advantage is their size and talent in the paint.

Bynum displayed that he could be a steady, reliable scoring option if given enough touches and when healthy, and if Gasol can work himself out of a mental funk, he has proved that the offense can be efficiently run through him.

Bryant's 25 points per game last season don't suggest that he has hit the career decline that everyone has predicted, but Bryant has had to work harder to score those points.

The lift in Bryant's legs has diminished during his 15 season professional career, and he doesn't have the same burst of quickness in his first step, and has been forced to rely on his wit and ball-handling ability to beat opponents off the dribble.

Although Bryant's minutes played were the lowest of his career this season he still seemed tired and spent during the playoffs, and the issues with fatigue will only increase in the future.

But a shift in offensive strategy for the Lakers could actually make the game...

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