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This will be the ultimate test of just how far Kobe has come as a team player—mostly because I believe Kobe would absolutely hate having the role I am about to suggest for him. Yet, if Kobe plays this role and plays it well, he could average 27 points a game on 55 percent shooting, even at his age.
Kobe must get the majority of his shots through a single-double set.
Have you ever wondered how Ray Allen, one of the best three-point shooters ever, routinely gets open for threes, even though everyone knows he is dangerous from out there?
That's right, the Celtics almost exclusively run Allen through single-double sets.
The single-double starts with either an entry pass into the high post or a pass to the wing. The shooter in question (Kobe) will get a back screen from the center (Andrew) and cut into the paint. The ball will then swing to the top of the key. Once there, the center sets a screen on one side of the key and both the power forward and small forward set up screens on the other side—hence a single-double.
Depending on where most of the defense is, Kobe has the option of taking the single screen off of Bynum/Gasol, or the double screen off of Gasol/Odom and Artest/Barnes.
Once Kobe chooses his screen, he will curl and receive a pass. He will have a wide-open jump shot the majority of the time. Bynum and Gasol can then seal their men deep in the paint and get a pass from Kobe for an easy layup/dunk too. If neither of those options are there, he can swing the ball back out to the point guard and reset.
Kobe Bryant has a low shooting percentage because he has a nasty habit of taking ridiculously difficult shots while being double-teamed. This would fix that.
Kobe's primary role would be off the ball. Not only would he get a ton of open shots, but he would open the court for others, as the entire defense would be forced to shift to him on the curl. He would put a ton of pressure on a defense just by coming off of the screens.
The biggest obstacle to this plan, however, is Kobe's ego. If he must be the alpha dog, and he must be the primary option then the Lakers will not win.
Kobe must put his pride aside and accept a new role, fully embracing the concept of team play for the Lakers to have a chance.