L.A. Times: Kobe Bryant has never been too far removed from the turnover family, but now he’s more than a distant cousin.
He has committed 26 turnovers in 102 minutes of exhibition play, a staggering 12.2 per 48 minutes.
He had seven turnovers in the first half of an exhibition Sunday against the Clippers, often forcing passes instead of distributing the ball to other teammates who had a better angle to feed the same player Bryant was trying to reach.
“He struggled a little bit [Sunday] night,” Coach Phil Jackson said. “He’s trying to make the play and [should] trust his teammates to make the plays instead of trying to be the sole playmaker out there.”
In Bryant’s defense, he is averaging 10.4 assists per 48 minutes in exhibition play, though the assists are overshadowed by the turnovers in ratio.
They are part of a trial-and-error phase, he says, as he attempts to advance the ball more quickly in his new role as a push-the-pace facilitator.
“You start experimenting a little bit, see who can do what, throw lobs that you [wouldn’t] necessarily throw during the regular season, throw passes that you normally wouldn’t throw,” said Bryant, who averaged 3.9 turnovers per 48 minutes last season. “Regular season, you just button up. Preseason, try to test things out a little bit. I’m not worried about it at all.”