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Phil on Kobe: Shoot better or shoot less


Posted Apr 20 2010 11:01PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lakers coach Phil Jackson wants Kobe Bryant to improve his shooting or take fewer shots.

Bryant scored 21 points on 6-for-19 shooting Sunday in the Lakers' 87-79 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in their playoff opener. He missed five of 12 free throws.

Jackson said before Game 2 on Tuesday night that Bryant can continue playing the same way, but he'll have to limit the number of shots he takes. He said Bryant can't shoot 30 percent as he has recently and expect the Lakers to win.

"He is well aware of it. He's a little befuddled by it, but coming to terms with it," Jackson said.

Bryant has been bothered by a swollen right knee, a broken right index finger and a sore tendon in his left ankle, all of which contributed to his missing four of the team's final five regular-season games.

Bryant's return for the playoff opener affected the number of touches big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum got in Game 1, which Jackson wasn't happy about.

"They want to give him the ball inside of really seeing that the post is open, and they've got to pass it in there," he said. "They see where Kobe is a lot of times, and sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the most grease."

Bryant is looking for a breakout game, the kind of high-scoring effort that he's made his reputation on.

"Those are the things that he's used to, that moment when he gets hot, he stays hot and can ride seven consecutive scoring opportunities down the floor," Jackson said. "That hasn't happened, and that makes all the difference in the world to his game."

Jackson said all of Bryant's injuries are limiting him.

"Right now it's being out of rhythm, having to sit out and get himself prepared for [the playoffs]," he said. "But he'll be back, and he'll be back strong."

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