Los Angeles Lakers: Why Kobe Bryant Might Ruin Their Title Chances

The title of this article will infuriate die-hard Lakers fans. What will anger them even more is when they find out that I live and breathe Celtics basketball. Probably shouldn’t have said that, but let’s move on.

Most NBA fans will look at Kobe Bryant this season and see that he’s leading the league in scoring at the age of 33 in his 16th NBA season and say to themselves, “That experimental knee surgery must have turned 2012 Kobe into 2000 Kobe.”

Even more impressive, Kobe’s carried a Lakers team that seemed to be on its last leg after their embarrassing loss to the Mavericks in last year’s playoffs to the third best record in the Western Conference.

There is no doubt that the Lakers have already exceeded expectations this season. They went from being picked by many to not even be the best team in their own city, to being a serious contender in the West.

However, if the Lakers are going to make it to the NBA Finals for the fourth time in five years, then things need to change.

Don’t be blinded by Bryant’s impressive 28.2 points-per-game average this season. He has been a jarringly inefficient offensive player, shooting just 42.5 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from behind the arc. Bryant’s field-goal percentage is the lowest since his rookie year, and his three-point accuracy would be the third-lowest of his career.  


The most telling statistic of all for Bryant this season is the amount of shots he’s taking. He is averaging 23.4 shots per game, tied for the most of his career, and has taken nearly 1,200 shots this season—200 more than any player in the league.

Not only is Bryant shooting abysmal percentages from both the field and three-point line this season, he is also an aging player who should be taking less shots at this stage of his career.

If Bryant...

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