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Kobe says he’ll be back “well before the playoffs”

Apr 16, 2012, 9:04 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Kobe Bryant missed his fifth straight game Sunday due to a shin injury, but told this to ABC sideline reporter Heather Cox (via the Orange County Register):

“I’ll definitely be back well before the playoffs.”

Um, how would you define “well before?” The Lakers have just five games remaining before the playoffs begin. Four of them are this week (and include two games against San Antonio and one Sunday against the Thunder).

The Lakers have gone 4-1 with Kobe on the bench and have played good defense while feeding their big men on offense. Ramon Sessions has found his groove. All that can help the Lakers if Kobe is integrated into it, but if his return disrupts that flow the Lakers will not last past the second round of the playoffs.

  1. cowboychris5xchamps - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    He’ll be back well before the playoffs and they’ll get dropped off well before the Western Conference Championship!!!

    • progress2011 - Apr 16, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Cowboy….at the time of my post, you have 52 thumbs down ! Don’t you know this is laker central…ahahahaha

      Any mention of slapping them with a reality check will swiftly render you dozens of thumbs down.

      They are passionate about calling all their delirious, confused, confounded laker buds and telling them to come onto the MSNBC blog and immediately let you know, they are still dreaming and your facts are interrupting the dream process….ahahahaha

      I post sometimes (with facts of course) just to see, how quickly I can get 10 thumbs down.

      Ex: kobe has taken 1298 shots and is only at 43% shooting. Durant has taken only 1168 shots, is at 50% shooting.
      Plus eventhough kobe has taken 130 more shots, Durant leads him in scoring by 97 points.

      Watch how many thumbs down we get now……ahahahahaha

  2. aboogy123456 - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Just because the Lakers are winning without kobe, make no mistake about it, they are not even close to the same team without him. Lakers are going to win a lot of games against these undersized teams with pau and bynum, but if you look at their stats they have been a little less efficient without kobe on the floor. Bynum deserves more touches but with kobe out he’s been trying a little too hard to be the man.

    Kobe is the leader of this team and he understands how to be a great team player, watch for him to take over with his TEAM play in the playoffs.

    • zblott - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Define “a little less efficient” because the Lakers have just reeled off 5 straight games with OffensiveRatings above their season average (avg: 106.3 — last five games: 110.9, 113.0, 109.6, 110.7, 119.3) and their only 5-game streak of games on the year with an EffectiveFG% above the league average (.487). I took your advice and looked at the stats, and it turns out their offense has gotten worse.

      Please explain what stats we should be looking at.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        “I took your advice and looked at the stats, and it turns out their offense has gotten worse.”

        I don’t understand your point here, looking at 5 games against undersized teams does not tell me anything, are you saying their offense is better with kobe out??

        I was talking specifically about bynum and gasol’s efficiency. And numbers aside, if you were to actually watch the games like I have, you can tell that there are times where kobe can help them a lot, and even if they score, the offense is not making the best plays.

        I was actually trying to make a point. Too many articles and posters on here bash kobe, and you think that because the lakers are winning then their offense is better without him. I actually watch the games closely and am trying to post that this is simply not true.

      • zblott - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        My point is that I did exactly what you said to do, which was to look at the team’s stats and efficiency since you said “they are not even close to the same team without him.” It turns out they’re better. Now if your point is that they’re doing better because of who they’re playing, then go ahead and acknowledge that the stats say the Lakers are being more efficient in their last 5, but it’s because of such and such.

      • mytthor - Apr 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        Aboogy, I’m afraid you can’t get away with saying “numbers aside, I watch the games closely and this is what I see.” When your first point was “if you look at the stats they have been less efficient without Kobe on the floor.”

      • gandalf47 - Apr 16, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        In 2009 -2010, Kobe missed 4 or 5 games immediately before the playoffs, and they went on to beat the Celtics in the Finals. During that period, the same discussions were being had in the media about how well they played without him, and how he might “disrupt” the chemistry upon returning. He’s Kobe F-ing Bryant, for Gods’ sake!

        I think that Mike Brown has done a good job with a team in transition, with big personnel changes made at the beginning and in the middle of the season, not to mention trying to implement a new system with the existing players, not to mention the trade that was overturn by Stern, wrecking the continuity on the team before they even played a game, with Odom demanding a trade in a hissy fit over it, and Pau playing looking over his shoulder until the trade deadline passed. Brown has experimented with lots of combinations, and has “felt out” how the teams plays as a team. The late addition of Sessions (simultaneously losing D Fish’s experience on the bench) shook things up even more.

        Kobe’s late injury gives him more opportunities to experiment with combinations that he normally can’t do when Kobe is in the game. My hope is that Kobe’s injury isn’t worse than they are letting on. I got a vibe from his interview that it is more serious than we know. Kobe admitted to debilitating pain at the end of the game, rendering him ineffective. I have NEVER heard him admit that before, even when it was true.

  3. hihibenben - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    I think that Kobe will know more about TEAM play after this period of sitting on the bench serving as an assistant coach, so let’s look forward to his comeback!!!

  4. aboogy123456 - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Thanks for the clarification, Mytthor, I think the way I wrote it must have been confusing. I just meant to say they are nowhere near the same caliber of team without kobe, and that he knows how to be a team player.

    The big men stats were just an example of that. No doubt they need to work it inside more, but it’s a lot easier to do when you have someone like kobe taking the attention of the Defense.

  5. loungefly74 - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    its great the lakers are getting some time in without kobe in the sense they needed to learn to move the ball without him.
    i know some people have the opinion the lakers would be a better team without kobe…well, i don’t buy into that. he has been a pinnacle part of their success. i cant imagine they would have done better without him.

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