Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash looked good together in their preseason debut on Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors. Kobe had 10 points in 18 minutes while Nash dished three assists in 14 minutes. David Lee led all scorers with 19 points as the Warriors went on a 28-0 run down the stretch to beat the Lakers 110-83. Harrison Barnes made his pro debut for Golden State with 13 points.
Dwight Howard sat out the game. He is hoping to be back from back surgery in time for the opening night of the regular season. “He just makes the game easy,” Bryant said later of Nash, the Lakers new point guard. “It’s a joy for me. I’ve had to facilitate and score my entire career. I don’t have to do that now and I’m pretty happy about it.”
Bryant no longer has to dribble around trying to find or create a shot. He can slip to an opening and let Nash have the ball and the defender’s attention. Kobe has always been a deadly shooter, not he’ll have a chance to catch and shot with his feet set, which makes him even more dangerous. And this will also save some were and tear on his body, now in its 17th NBA season. Nash will dribble the ball up the court and pick his spots to pull up and shoot, but will get the ball to the other players. This will make the big men like Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol happy.
“He’s a great all-around player,” Bryant said. “He just picks his spots. He can still score no matter what the defense is going to give him. If [the defense] is not going to be honest, he’s going to make them pay.”