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Steve Nash Says Kobe Bryant Loses Faith in Teammates, Reminds Him of Magic

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Kevin Durant #35 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during a 106-95 Laker win 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
Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers have won two huge games in a row thanks to Kobe Bryant finally trusting his teammates and turning to his passing game rather than looking to score on every possession imaginable.

Los Angeles followed a 102-84 win over the Utah Jazz up with a huge 105-96 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder thanks to total team efforts.

Of course, in the end, it was Kobe's game that really spread things out for the Lakers, as he recorded near triple-doubles in two straight games. Kobe averaged 17.5 points, nine rebounds and an astonishing 14 assists in those two games.

What makes it all the more amazing is that Kobe has posted 14 helpers just six times in his career before these two games.

So what is it that made Kobe abandon his ball-hogging ways despite the fact that he's having one of the best shooting seasons of his career?

Well, Steve Nash thinks that he's finally starting to trust his teammates again.

Steve Nash: "I think sometimes Kobe loses a little bit of faith in his teammates and goes into scoring mode."

— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 28, 2013

If you take a look at the way Kobe played in the few games prior to Los Angeles' two wins and compare it to how he played during, that much becomes even more evident.

He spent three games shooting like crazy, scoring an average of just 21.3 points over the course of those matchups. Kobe shot an atrocious 31.6 percent during the losing skid and averaged fewer than four assists.

Looking at their last two victories, he's selecting his shots better and only taking the ones that he's sure will drop. Otherwise, he's finding his teammates. He's shooting over 68 percent in those two games.

It seems obvious that sometime during those three losses, Kobe realized that he needs to turn to the rest of his team if he wanted to end the Lakers' losing streak. 

Then, after the win over Utah and his first of the two 14-assist games, he realized the impact it has on his team. He tweeted this:

“@imjustsam_: @kobebryant you should pass more often bro”u know what? In this situation, I think u r 100% right

— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2013

The way Kobe has taken over games in so many different ways in the past two games has Nash making some lofty comparisons, even for an all-time great.

Nash: "Frankly, Kobe reminds me a little bit of Magic Johnson the way he's playing right now. He's controlling the game." #Lakers

— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 28, 2013

Nash isn't completely over-exaggerating here, either. Just take a look at one of the passes he dropped in to Dwight Howard against the Thunder:

While the Lakers have spent the first half of the season looking to be in complete shambles, these past two games have been what we've imagined seeing from them since the beginning of the year.

Heck, if they continue to see "Magic" Bryant on the floor for the rest of the season, or at least some incarnation of him, rather than Kobe Beasley, the Lakers might even make the playoffs.

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