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Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers points to the sky before their game against the Sacramento Kings at Power Balance Pavilion on November 21, 2012 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Considering it is the season of giving thanks, let us talk about something all Los Angeles Lakers fans can be thankful for: Kobe Bryant.
Twelve games into the 2012-13 NBA season, Bryant is leading the league in scoring at 27.3 points per game, and he’s shooting a better percentage than any other top 10 scorer in the league. Bryant saw that Dwight Howard and Steve Nash were on the team, and Bryant clearly got into the gym and started shooting. His shot is on point.
Bryant is currently on pace to shoot career-bests in field goal percentage, three point percentage, and free throw percentage. For a man who has been the best offensive scorer in the league over the past 17 seasons, shooting is kind of a big deal. This season, Kobe’s been on fire.
Kobe is getting to the free-throw line slightly less than last season, but he’s shooting a career-best 87.6 percent from the line. Hard work in practice is paying off for the Mamba.
From long range, Kobe is averaging slightly fewer shots per game than last season, but he’s averaging more makes. Bryant’s 41.8 percent from three point range would be a career-best if he can keep it up.
Bryant is shooting an incredible 53.1 percent from the field, nearly 10 percent higher than his career average. His points per game, however, are down slightly from last season’s 27.9 to 27.3. The drop is due to Bryant taking about 5 fewer shots per game. Even with Kobe shooting more efficiently, he has not been nearly as trigger-happy as in seasons past.
Still, Bryant has not abandoned video game mode. When he gets angry, he throws up shot after shot after shot until a double digit deficit is a one or two possession game. In the back ground, NBA Jam can be heard: “He’s on Fire” “Boomshakalaka.”