Kobe Bryant, Mike D'Antoni offer conflicting solutions to Lakers' offensive woes

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Lakers legend and his new head coach have some differing views on the best way to administer the team's offense and improve its production.

As the Los Angeles Lakers struggle mightily this season on offense, superstar Kobe Bryant and head coach Mike D'Antoni each have an idea of how to solve their problems on that end of the floor.

Unfortunately, they're somewhat conflicting viewpoints. Kobe Bryant told ESPN's Dave McMenamin:

"When Pau (Gasol) gets back, we're going to play through him a great deal. Probably at the start of the shot clock, we'll move around the perimeter, this that and the other. Last 10 seconds of the shot clock, when we don't have anything, we'll post him up then he can make plays and make guys better, which he's fantastic at."

D'Antoni had a slightly different take on the matter:

"We need that flow. We need to have a tempo on offense. You need, we told them today, ‘You need to play the 16-18 seconds of Laker Basketball. Laker Basketball is this: A,B, C ...' Then after that, yeah, we got guys on the team that when we need a shot, throw it to them and they produce a shot.

The takeaway is that Kobe wants to get Gasol involved earlier in the shot clock, while D'Antoni wants to play "Laker Basketball" until later in the shot clock. The real issue lies in the fact that no one really knows what that is, including the players.

Gasol has struggled mightily to fit in to D'Antoni's system and is off to the worst statistical start of his career. Through 17 games this season, he's averaged 12.6 points and 8.8 rebounds. Also noteworthy was the fact that D'Antoni benched the Spaniard late in the fourth quarter in the Lakers' loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 23.

The real answers will come once Gasol returns from injury as he nurses tendonitis in both knees.

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