D'Antoni: Kobe to defend opponent's best player

Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t known for putting the best defensive teams out on the court, usually trying his hand at running and gunning a team out of the gym.

Now that the Lakers are in dire straits with a real possibility of missing the playoffs, D’Antoni said that he will put guard Kobe Bryant on the opposing team’s best player and primary scoring option.

The Lakers rank 17th in the NBA in defense giving up 103.4 points per 100 possessions and 26th overall giving up 101.4 points per game. The Western Conference is full of shooting and point guards that Bryant will be expected to defend the rest of the season.

When asked how many more games Bryant will guard primary scorers, D’Antoni said, “43. Unless he dies first.”

After Thursday’s night loss at home to the Miami Heat, the Lakers are 17-22, three and a half games out of the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

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