Should you be worried about Kobe Bryant?
Kobe Bryant likely ranks in the top ten in whatever scoring format your league uses, but he’s currently not challenging the likes of LeBron and Chris Paul for the crown of top fantasy player. At this point that honor belongs to Dwyane Wade, but that’s a debate for another day. Today, I want to focus on whether Kobe Bryant fantasy owners should start to worry a bit.
His scoring (25.1 ppg) is at the lowest it has been since the 2003-04 season. His rebounding is down over a full rebound per game (6.3 to 5.2) from last year. Same with his assists (5.4 to 4.1). His steals and blocks are virtually the same. He’s even making one less three-pointer per game (1.8 to 0.8). Those are still good numbers, but no longer the crème de la crème.
So should you worry? Not really. If the numbers he’s producing aren’t good enough for you, your team has greater worries than a small dip in Kobe’s production. However, if you think he’s going to snap out of it and start producing like he has in the past, I wouldn’t bet the farm on that. We’re through roughly 20% of the season, which is a pretty good sample size. Now if there is an injury along the way, his numbers may spike, but judging by his career numbers, there isn’t a big variance from month to month.
Scoring Average by Month
October – 25.3
November – 24.3
December – 25.0
January – 26.5
February – 25.3
March – 25.1
April – 23.5
So why are his numbers down? The Lakers have a lot of weapons. He seems content to let some of the other players contribute on Offense. Why wouldn’t he? After all, the Lakers are 15-2 on the year. He also doesn’t need to exert himself as much on any given night. His 34 minutes per game are the lowest for him since the 1997-98 season, his second in the league. He’s still hoisting the ball up nearly 20 times a game. He’s just not getting to the line with the same frequency. He is attempting only 6.5 free throws per game, which is dramatically down from the 9.1 times he went last year.
So don’t panic Kobe owners. You still have one of the game’s best players. Do entertain offers for him though. If you can fill a couple of voids on your team with a pair of high-end players, this may be the year to move Kobe.