Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/15/13

The Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of a boost on defense. Mike D’Antoni’s team has greatly underachieved and is five games below .500, and the main reason for that is that L.A. ranks 26th in the NBA defensively with nearly 102 points per game allowed. On Sunday, the Lakers held their opponent to under 100 points for only the third time in their last 12 games in a 113-93 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. One of the reasons for their success was the job Kobe Bryant did defending Cavs star Kyrie Irving, who was held to just 15 points on 7-of-15 shooting. D’Antoni said on Monday that having Kobe defend an opponent’s top player is something that will continue. “I think that really helped us,” he said according to ESPNLA.com. “It helped us against the Clippers with Chris Paul. (Bryant) wants to take the challenge, and it really helps us. He disrupts the whole offense on the ball. He’s done that a couple games, so we’ll continue to milk that one.” While Bryant is known as a tremendous one-on-one defender, he is also 34 years old. One would think that defending superstars every night would tire him out and have a negative affect on his play offensively, but Steve Nash agrees that the philosophy will help the team. “Kobe’s a guy that likes a challenge, so to give him a challenge I think sometimes is best for us,” Nash said. “Sometimes when he maybe is guarding someone who isn’t going to demand his interest, he can wane a little bit. But when we put him in a position where he’s challenged, he can be phenomenal.” Kobe did score 23 points in addition to shutting down Irving, so obviously he is capable of doing both. Still, you have to wonder what type of toll that will take on his body over the course of the season. Then again, anything that keeps D’Antoni from making suicide jokes is probably worth doing. The post Lakers planning to have Kobe Bryant defend opposing teams’ top players appeared first on Larry Brown Sports. Related posts: Kyrie Irving challenges Kobe Bryant to a game of 1-on-1 for $50,000 (Video) Kobe Bryant on Lakers’ lack of energy: We’re old as s— Kobe Bryant: Carmelo Anthony is the hardest player to defend in the NBA

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Hawks not shopping Al Horford at NBA trade deadline

Report: Lincecum has been throwing in secret location

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

Texas signee glad he didn’t pick Texas A&M after alleged racism

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

WATCH: Jabari Parker is no joke at NBA Rising Stars Challenge

How Marvelous Marv Throneberry became a Met

WATCH: Filip Forsberg goes beast on Lightning with this goal

Carmelo Anthony on trade rumors: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker