Los Angeles Lakers

Count on Kobe Bryant to Facilitate Lakers into Playoffs with Strong Second Half

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a Laker foul during a 106-95 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2013

Kobe Bryant is going to carry the Los Angeles Lakers to the playoffs, just not with his scoring.

Following the Western Conference's 143-138 victory over the Eastern Conference in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, Bryant told reporters that "passing" will take "precedence" over everything else in the second-half (via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com):

For those wondering, he's not kidding.

Prior to the All-Star break, the Black Mamba had dished out at least seven assists in nine of his last 12 games. He also finished the All-Star game with eight assists, second-most of the night behind Chris Paul.

In an environment that encourages Kobe to shoot more than the Lakers ever have, he passed. He passed more than LeBron James. And Dwyane Wade. And Kyrie Irving.

Which is great news for Los Angeles. 

The Lakers are 12-7 when Bryant drops seven or more dimes, and 17-9 when he dishes out more than five. Ergo, the more he passes, the more Los Angeles wins.

Four games under .500 and 3.5 games back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Lakers need to win. A lot.

So count on Bryant to pass. Count on him to run the pick-and-roll with Dwight Howard more. Count on him to drive-and-kick to Steve Nash and Earl Clark. Count on him to lead Los Angeles with his court vision, not serial shooting.

Count on him to propel the Lakers into the postseason.

Just count on him in general.

The way we have for nearly two decades.


*All stats used in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference, Synergy Sports and 82games.com unless otherwise noted.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices