Eight ways to stop No. 8

Originally Published: January 23, 2006
By John Carroll | Scouts Inc.
No coach is prepared for the kind of onslaught Kobe Bryant had Sunday night. When you devise a game plan, you aren't thinking about how to stop an opponent from scoring 81 points.

But extreme performances call for extreme responses. At some point, you have to draw the line and say, "Enough!"

So next time a team finds itself looking at another Kobe Show, here are some ways to slow it down.

Defense
First, since Kobe handles the ball so much -- after rebounds, outlet passes, steals and inbounds plays -- you should pick him up full-court.

This will force him to give the ball up, and it could have the effect of slowing down the offense's ability to set up the play and return the ball to Bryant.

It will also tend to wear him out, if he tries to bring the ball up against pressure. Normally, jump shooters tend to shoot the ball short when their legs are tired.

John Carroll

Scouts, Basketball Recruiting
John Carroll joined Scouts Inc. after nine years as an NBA coach, including a seven-year tenure with the Boston Celtics that concluded with a four-month stint as interim head coach in 2003-04. Before joining the NBA, Carroll spent six years as head coach at Duquesne University and seven years at Seton Hall as an assistant to head coach P.J. Carlesimo.

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