Phil talks to Kobe about shooting
Bryant, whose 6-for-19 shooting line in Game 1 dropped his four-game shooting slump to 27-for-89 (30.3 percent) is being asked to either improve or change his game.
"If Kobe's going to play this style of basketball, he's got to adjust his game to match ours," Jackson said. "He can still play exactly the way he's playing right now, but he has to limit the amount of shots he takes. Obviously he can't shoot 30-something percent, he can't shoot that percentage and have us be successful. Either the proficiency has to increase or else he has to become a playmaker out of those things. But he can still draw attention, can still make the plays."
Jackson, who said he was "optimistic" by Bryant's "lively legs" in Game 1 after the 12-time All-Star sat out four of the Lakers final five regular-season games to rest various injuries, joked that he used "various means" including "emissaries" to deliver his message to Bryant.
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Jackson was more concerned with Bryant's patience with his teammates than with his shooting decisions.
"This is an issue," Jackson said. "He searches for his teammates to show direction or initiative and if they don't, he's going to step in the vacuum as quickly as a wink because if they're not active and directive and attacking and doing the things that he sees this offense has to do, then he's going to step in and carry the torch, so to speak."
Jackson thought the sporadic nature that Bryant has played recently -- Tuesday is just Bryant's fifth game played in the last three weeks -- have been the reason for his unsure shot.
"Right now it's getting out of rhythm," Jackson said. "He'll be back and he'll be back strong."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com