Los Angeles Lakers Won’t Win with Kobe Bryant at Point Guard

For the first time in years, Kobe Bryant played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

According to Basketball-Reference, he hadn't suited up at the 1 since the 2009-10 season, when he spent 1 percent of his minutes running the show at the lead guard spot. Even last year, when he was posting double-digit assist totals, he was playing alongside a natural point guard. 

But that changed Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. And while Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Co. make for a formidable foe and tough measuring stick, they still proved that he has no business serving as the stopgap at point guard for the Lake Show. 

Let's be clear that Kobe was lining up in a head-to-head matchup with Westbrook due to the dearth of other options. Not because Mike D'Antoni is insane or anything like that. 

With Steve Nash's back continuing to act up, Steve Blake out with a UCL injury in his elbow and Jordan Farmar still recovering from a hamstring malady, the Lakers literally didn't have a single point guard on the active roster for the matchup with OKC. As Jeff Van Gundy mentioned on the ESPN broadcast, that's like an NFL team going to war without a quarterback. 

Kobe did some things well in this strange role.

There's no doubt about that, as he recorded 13 assists in only 23 minutes of action. To give you a reference point, only 16 players in the entire NBA had dished out at least 13 dimes during the 2013-14 campaign, and every single one of the 29 performances required 27 minutes or more on the court. In fact, Chris Paul and John Wall were the only ones to hit 13 without getting to 30. 

But that's about where the positives end. 

Kobe wasn't much of a presence on defense, allowing Westbrook to explode for 19 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists. He also recorded only four points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field, failed to earn a ...

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