Kobe Bryant took a totally unnecessary 34-foot shot
This Lakers season has already taken on the impression of a Kobe Bryant Milestone Tour, with the franchise icon hitting various extremely impressive career marks as the team he plays for struggles to a record well below .500. Kobe has said that he doesn't particularly enjoy shooting so many times per game (an average of 24.2 field goal attempts per game through the season's first 12 games), but it's also clear that he is going to hoist them up for a team with few obvious answers.
This issue doesn't have an obvious answer — yes, Kobe shoots a lot, but the Lakers have so few efficient offensive players that it's hard to point to one guy as sinking their chances. Nevertheless, some shots are pretty clearly not good. Bryant unleashed one of them during the second quarter of Friday night's game road game against the Dallas Mavericks:
The official play-by-play lists this shot at 34 feet, or roughly 10 feet past the line. That would be normal if the Lakers were at the end of the shot clock, but Kobe put up the shot with about six seconds remaining. Maybe they wouldn't have gotten a good shot if he'd passed, but they could have found a better shot unless there were a turnover. Or maybe if the ball spontaneously combusted.
Bryant finished the night with 17 points on 6-of-22 shooting from the field, which doesn't seem to help his case for taking such a high volume of shots. Yet focusing on Kobe's shot selection obscures much bigger problems for Los Angeles. With the league's worst defense by points per possession, Lakers could not stop the league's best offense by the same metric. Dallas took the game by an absurd score of 140-106, with eight players scoring in double figures and none with more than 23 points.
This ridiculous shot is worth a laugh, or maybe dozens of them. But it's no microcosm of the Lakers' struggles.
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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter!