What Will the Los Angeles Lakers Offense Look Like in the Post-Kobe Bryant Era?

Of all the unbelievable stats to emerge since last month’s All-Star break (a 13-game span), the Los Angeles Lakers’ brief ownership of a top-10 offense has to be the most bizarre. 

Heading into the middle of February, Los Angeles ranked 29th in offensive rating. It isolated more than any other team in the league, didn’t share the ball and fetishized the pull-up jumper—one of the sport's least efficient options.

The Lakers' plan of attack was antiquated, stale and impotent. They didn’t utilize the athleticism and youth on the roster and instead played to the strengths of veterans like Kobe Bryant and Lou Williams. It was a regressive, debilitating horror show. 

Some of this is due to Bryant’s declining influence.

The 37-year-old has sat out five games since the All-Star break. The Lakers are 2-3 when he doesn’t play and 1-7 when he does. His minutes are gradually decreasing, too. That—coupled with the hamstring injury that sidelined Williams five games earlier this month—helped increase opportunities for more dynamic options like D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, the team’s high-scoring duo.

After a wobbly loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, Los Angeles dropped to 11th in offensive rating since the All-Star break. In that span, they're still more efficient than the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers.

With only 14 games left this year, is there anything the Lakers can build offensively heading into next season, as they venture into a post-Bryant era?

Since All-Star Weekend, L.A.’s offense is averaging 109.2 points per 100 possessions with Bryant on the bench and 107.1 with him on the floor. There are many factors that go into making these numbers look the way they do (lineup combinations, opposing matchups, how good the defense is, etc.), but it&rsq...

About the Author