May 10, 2012, 2:55 PM EST
Kobe did not take part in the Lakers’ shootaround in Denver on Thursday and might not play in a crucial Game 6 because of gastroenteritis, the team announced. Bryant is a game-time decision and will be re-evaluated by the team medical staff after a day of rest and treatment.
Gastroenteritis is what you or I would call a stomach virus or stomach flu (even though it’s not actually related to the flu virus). We’ve all been there — vomiting, diarrhea, the inability to keep food down and feeling very tired. All of which are not conducive to good basketball.
Kobe is averaging 31.2 points a game this series along with 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Without him the Lakers lack a real threat on the perimeter and Denver would do more of what it did last game — collapse in the paint, double-team Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and dare anyone else on the Lakers to beat them. The Lakers were already going to need their role players to step up in this game. If Kobe cannot go or is slowed that need grows exponentially.
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