If this is something that Bryant does take to heart, the Lakers, now that they have a major upgrade at point guard — Sessions for Derek Fisher — appear fully capable of coming out of the Western Conference. And while Bryant's stint on the bench has allowed his teammates to build their own confidence, it has also allowed his legs to rest. "This is a blessing in disguise for him to rest, heal up," World Peace said.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: So, what happens now?
The Los Angeles Lakers have won four straight games with Black Mamba on the sideline in an expensive, dark suit.
To be fair: the purple-and-gold are 4-1 without Bryant, their franchise face, All-Star, perennial MVP candidate, and long-time Alpha Dog.
With Bryant sporting an injured shin, the Lakers have found their groove. Andrew Bynum has become an even greater beast. Pau Gasol is loving the extra touches. Metta World Peace is playing like a young Ron Artest -minus the outbursts. Even Matt Barnes has found his old form.
Bottom line: the Lakers have chemistry.
Whenever Bryant returns, he must fit with teammates and not disrupt the good vibes that have circulated Staples Center during his absence.
If that means deferring, so be it. If that means looking inside more to Bynum, so be it. If that means contributing in ways besides scoring, so be it.
Then, in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, Bryant can become the end-of-game assassin we know.
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