OKC Thunder: How do you defend Lakers' Kobe Bryant?

Thunder coach Scott Brooks makes no pretense on how the defend the Lakers' All-Star, saying that anyone gives you an answer on how to guard Kobe is just giving you an answer.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: February 24, 2012
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The Thunder used a three-man rotation on Bryant, beginning with Daequan Cook, then James Harden and Russell Westbrook, then back to the front of the line.

"I think with every great player, if you give them the same defense, they're going to figure it out and sometimes they're going to figure it out because they've seen everything," Brooks said. "Kobe's seen it all."

Cook said he tried to use the same approach against Bryant as any other player he defends.

"It's just about being prepared," Cook said. "At the end of the day, he's a scorer and you just try to contest every shot. That's all you can do. You really can't shut down any player. It's just about being smart, playing with energy and defending the best you can. That's the most important thing."

Harden, who grew up in the LA area, didn't back down from Bryant.

With 2:10 left in the game, Harden buried a 3-pointer over Bryant and then started staring at Bryant on the trip down court.

Bryant immediately called for the ball and backed down Harden, who partially blocked Bryant's fadeaway 11-footer and then started jawing at Bryant.

That led to a technical foul away from the argument from Metta World Peace.


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