Who will can stop Kobe?
FOXSports.com: As Kobe Bryant has returned to health and form, he has had a little “get well” present.
Instead of a nightly dose of Shane Battiers and Raja Bells, old hands who at least know Bryant’s catalog of tricks (even if they are sometimes powerless to offset them), he has been defended by greenhorns.
In the Lakers’ past three games, Bryant has been guarded by Memphis’ O.J. Mayo (23), Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans (21) and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (21).
All three may be future stars in the NBA, but in present times all are still learning their way around the league – particularly at the defensive end of the court.
“Anytime he gets a younger guy on him, you can see it,” said Lakers reserve forward Matt Barnes. “We were talking about it on the bench. He completely sets them up for everything he does. Not to mention he’s the best player, but he always outthinks the person that’s guarding him, too. For a young guy, that’s going to be tough.”
Against Mayo and DeRozan, Bryant had a physical advantage, and so he worked them – particularly Mayo – inside. Against the thicker Evans, he hit a pair of early jumpers, then set to work beating him off the dribble. DeRozan’s length – with his 6-foot-7 frame and long arms – may have enabled him to have the most success against Bryant.