Kobe has no doubt been in a slump, it’s evident his finger is affecting him as of late.
Lakers BasketBlog: Kobe Bryant made just 1-of-14 shots in the first half and 4-of-21 for the game in L.A.’s 95-77 win over Milwaukee, struggling to hit from the field for the fourth consecutive contest (33 percent combined).
The difference in that first half was that Bryant was attempting to play without a splint on his right index finger, on which he suffered an avulsion fracture earlier in the season that he said he aggravated against Sacramento (he also appeared to take a swipe to the finger against Houston on Tuesday evening).
Bryant explained after the contest that playing without the splint afforded him increased range of motion, but made his finger to weak to support his shooting stroke.
“It’s just not strong enough,” he said of the finger, which will of course not keep him out of any game action.
Phil Jackson blamed Bryant’s finger almost exclusively for his shooting struggles:
He has been fiddling around with his “prosthetic” for his broken finger. He went from hard to semi-hard protective plate that was in there and made from lead that was conformed to nothing at all now. It is noticeable in his shooting and he knows it so I think he is going to go back to what worked before.
In short, the splint will go back on until Bryant feels strong enough to shoot without it.