Expectations for Kobe Bryant in 2014
Kobe Bryant is coming off a debilitating injury, but if anybody can have a successful recovery, it’s him.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call – Laker Nation also has high expectations for their aging superstar, but the question still remains: when will he return and how good will he be?
After tearing his Achilles tendon in a late-season game against the Golden State Warriors, the Black Mamba limped off the court but everybody knew that they probably hadn’t seen the last of the Laker great.
Kobe’s tenacity has caused its fair share of controversies, none more famous than the Kobe-Shaq feud that led to the ousting of the three-time Finals MVP (O’Neal) from LA. But whether you like this attitude or not, he is undoubtedly fair in his approach to the game. He expects the same 100 percent effort from himself as he does from his teammates and organization. Although he said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he was unsure he would make it back for Opening Night, it’s clear that he
will use PEDs to make a quick recovery and return to the NBA hard-court very soon.
But when he does come back, what should we really expect from the 35-year-old Bryant?
I believe that the best thing for Bryant and the Lakers to do in this situation is actually something out of left field: sit him as long as possible. This way it gives the Lakers a chance to get a lottery pick and possibly even Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker in the 2014 NBA Draft. If that happens, Kobe just might have a legitimate shot at winning the 2015 NBA championship because one thing is certain: he won’t be winning it in 2014.
In all reality, that will not happen. Kobe Bryant will probably return in mid-November and play 60-70 games this season. Hopefully coach Mike D’Antoni has the intelligence not to play him close to 40 minutes per game (unlike what happened in 2013). The reality is that the Lakers will struggle despite some solid off-season pickups. Will they make the playoffs? That remains to be seen but here are my stat predictions for Kobe Bryant:
26.1 points per game | 4.9 rebounds per game | 6.4 assists per game | 45 percent from the field | 32 percent from three | 83 percent from the line
What do you expect from Kobe Bryant in 2014?
Image Credit: WENN Photo Database