Laker Dilemma: Home court or Kobe?

SAN ANTONIO — The Bulls have taken no risks with Derrick Rose and it’s paid off. So should the Lakers take the same approach?

Normally at this time in dealing with an injury, Kobe Bryant would be like a wild animal ready chew off one leg to escape from a steel trap. But sitting out his third straight game due to an inflammation in his left shin, Bryant isn’t getting antsy and bugging Lakers coach Mike Brown to put him back into the lineup and out on the floor.

“We’re just taking it one day at a time,” Brown said. “There is no timetable on him. He’s been good, which is great. I think he understands it’s one of those things where if he goes out too early he can cancel everything that he’s done up to this point. So he’s being more cautious than anything else.”

Rose has sat out 23 games this season, yet the Bulls have still managed to hang onto the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. On the other hand, the Lakers entered Wednesday night’s game against the Spurs sitting at No. 3 in the West, but were only one game ahead of Memphis in the loss column and in danger of falling as far as No. 5, which would mean not having home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Can these Lakers really think of themselves making a championship run by having to open four straight series on the road?

Everybody knows that the Lakers need a healthy Bryant to have any chance of making a real playoff run. But considering L.A.’s less than inspiring 13-16 road record, how much do they need Kobe to engage in the fight for playoff positioning coming down the stretch?

54 Comments

  1. LakersRule says:

    And I hope the Lakers are encouraging Metta World Peace to shoot FEWER three-pointers, because even though he had the hot hand against San Antonio, I’ve seen games where he’s gone like 1 for 9 behind the arc. He’s a streaky shooter at best: if after his first two shots or so it’s clear he’s not hot from three-point range, the Lakers need to have him focus on htiting shorter shots from the lane.

  2. LakersRule says:

    Everyone thinks that the Lakers can’t win without Kobe Bryant, and I’m sick and tired of listening to the garbage. Everyone forgets that the Lakers have the second-best center in the league in Andrew Bynum, another All-Star in Pau Gasol, a capable backup in Matt Barnes, and a tough defensive player (and streaky but useful at times offensive player) in Metta World Peace. Everyone just needs to chill out. Let’s not forget that most of these guys were on the team that won back-to-back NBA championships: these guys know how to win under pressure, and I’d definitely call having your superstar sitting out with an injury pressure. The Lakers have done fairly well for themselves in Kobe’s absence, and with the added motivation of home-court advantage hanging in the balance they’ll keep fighting. I’m not worried about the Lakers. The Heat, on the other hand…

  3. gregorio says:

    I am number one fan of kobe bryant for me he is still the number one nba player and one of the most decorated nba player and the greatest nba player of the world. It is for his owned good to be sidelined for the rest of regular seasoned so that during playoff time he is still 100% and the most feared nba player that he can carry his team to another championship.

  4. celts says:

    celtics would be d champ ds season

  5. BallHogger says:

    JUST REST KOBE! the remaining two season games is yours to recover! GO LAKERS!!!! JUST BELEIVE!!!!

  6. BADDY says:

    I wish Kobe will go back to his dribble drive plays, pick n roll plays and would not keep on making post up plays, I’m sure this will make their games better and go back to finals. hoohhh..

  7. Juan says:

    It appers the Lakers are just fine if not better without Kobe in the lineup right now. It’s allowing the other players to gel together without him. I can’t wait for Kobe to come back and mess things up for them.

  8. drew says:

    Here’s the situation.
    The Lakers are learning how not to depend on Kobe for everything.
    For the first half of the season all the Lakers would do is wait for Kobe
    to initiate something, and the roll of of that. Here they’re learning that
    he doesn’t have to initiate every play, that they can be pretty good without him.
    I think this will help a ton during playoff time when Kobe is on the bench for
    whatever reason. They have confidence in more than one man in crunch time
    If they have the confidence that they can win with or without
    Kobe on the floor, they’re going to be a hard team to stop.

    Now if they could just stop blowing every lead in every game I would
    say go ahead and write them in for the Western Conference Finals.

  9. Zeitgeist says:

    3 points to sucess for lakers this year

    -play hard, tough, energetic defense

    -hit open 3 pointers ( mwp,barnes, blake ) or penetrate more agressive

    -play inside with bynum,gasol, mwp

    kobe will do all the rest, the clutch plays and miracles, when needed

    my comment to the topic is: its good for team chemistry and trust, that kobe is sitting out and resting. i hope he will trust his teamsmates more after seeing them suceed and prove their qualities. all the lakers fans should thank this doctor and his new method from germany. kobe is playing like 3 years ago.

  10. JEMAR_DHINE says:

    go!!!go!!!go!!! LAKERS i know your team champion dis year… 4 me your the best team ever i’m your biggest fan 4-ever…

  11. LakerMtnFan says:

    PJ!?! You have got to be kidding! PJ is the most over rated coach ever in the history of the NBA. The Laker’s need a real coach, like Popovich, or George Karl, or even Doug Collins was ten times better than PJ. So glad he is gone, as even Brown is better than PJ falling asleep on the bench and letting the Laker’s fall apart game after game with his stupid Zen Master NON-coaching style.

    I hope Kobe rests for a few more games and comes back 100%. All he needs to do is get some practice shooting in, work on his free throws, because he is going to get fouled a lot in the playoff’s and continue to trust his team mates and share the ball. Then the Laker’s might have a chance to go far this year.

  12. LAKERSKOBE KETA says:

    WHY KOBE CANT GET AN MVP EVEN WHEN HE WAS HANDS DOWN DA BEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE THE NBA GIVES IT STEVE NASH TWICE AND DIRK ONCE B4 THERE WAS A LEBRON CARMELO DURANT DROSE ONLY I DONT EVEN THINK AT DA TIME THERE WAS SG IN DA LEAGUE DAT COULD COMPARE TO KOBE I FEEL LIKE DA NBA HAS A VICE OUT WIT KOBE AND WILL NOT ALLOW HIM 2 GET ANOTHER 1 BUT ITS ALRITE HE DONT NEED IT JUS GIVE ME PARADES IN JUNE

  13. Juan Blanco says:

    Let him rest. This is a great opportunity for the other guys to step up as they did in the Spurs game. I think this bodes well for us in the long-run.

  14. TheProfesor says:

    Home court would be nice! They are playing solid keep it up Gasol who has stepped up since kobe is out. Nobody mentions gasol anymore but he is the one leading scorer with kobe out.

  15. LakersRangafan2417 says:

    im new here who is prix

  16. NBAfan says:

    rest the banged up grandpa…so he can be the black mamba of old come play off time…

  17. anonymous says:

    Bynum vs. Rondo. 30 vs. 20. Big man vs. Point Guard. Who wins? Well, which is it? Which stat is more impressive? The answer is…

    To read more go to http://www.nbathroughmyveins.wordpress.com

  18. Lannie says:

    All good comments,ut i dont think it matters when Kobe comes back.The Lakers will be fine no matter what seed we are.If we fell to the 8th seed that just means OKC should be worried.The only team we should try to duck is Memphis those guys are for real and can be a problem for any team in the west.Rest is good for Kobe but I think its better for the rest of the team to get into playyoff form..

  19. the lakers role players and bench are playing better and old ronny is starting to realize the lockuot is over and the two 7 footers playing well, i must admitt i thought with out kobe they would fall in the standings,

  20. cdubbb24 says:

    Team chemistry & confidence also seems to be getting better while kobe rests. I say rest kobe as long as it takes to be 100% or let him play the last 3 games vs spurs okc & kings.

    I also thought we would have heard from prix by now..

    GO LAKERS!!!!

  21. Chacodamus says:

    It doesn’t matter if Kobe is IN or OUT.. the Lakers go .500 the rest of the way, drop to a 4 or 5 seed, and lose in the 1st round in a 7 game war with either Memphis or the Clippers.

    • Chacodamus says:

      Everybody seems to think, “oh, playoff time, Lakers ramp it up..” well everyone seems to be forgetting the secret ingrdient to the Lakers post-season success- and its NOT Kobe, or Bynum people.. His initials are P.J… I’ll give you 3 guesses..lol

  22. Eric says:

    I think the Lakers should rest Bryant until the final, maybe 3 games of the season. That way, he gets some rest, but also gets a chance to play a few games so he’s not rusty when the playoffs start.

    With Bryant out, this gives Gasol, Bynum, Sessions, and World Peace time to prove they are worth their paychecks. I just wish Mike Brown would play Goudelock more, he’s one of my favorite Lakers.

    • Butta says:

      I completely agree with you, MWP, Gasol, Bynum, and Sessions have proven how great they are without Kobe. Just the production they put up shows how far they can go. I’m surprised they haven’t put Goudelock in the bench lineup lately. He’s been good off the bench and he’s my favorite laker rookie.

    • That’s true with gasol, sessions and bynum

  23. lakermig says:

    IF and it a big IF the lakers simply keep playing the way they have especially yest then we don’t even need a home court advantage but it all depends on that IF.

  24. rham.24 says:

    well,WHERE kobe bryant win an MVP THIS SEASON? I think he deserves

  25. I might be wrong but this is usually common place for a normal down-syndrome comment from prix…..

    • Ayuna says:

      Literally LMAO right now at work at your comment . . .its soooooooo damn true. Thanks so much for the laugh, I needed that! :-)

  26. austin says:

    kobe should rest and be back to win the chamoinship

  27. Lvinlegend says:

    After tonights win against the Spurs, who were at home, Lakers look to finish strong despite Kobe’s absence. I don’t see them falling off from their no.3 spot being as productive as they are. The Laker team showed us tonight they are ready to contend and fill Kobe’s void while he rests his shin a few more games.
    If what we see right now is what we will get, they should be just fine come playoff time as Kobe gets back in the action; no worries about losing home court having two 7 footers and Meta step up BIG!

  28. mcado1068 says:

    The Lakers need Kobe to rest. Period.
    The Lakers will not get far in the playoff anyway.
    However, without Kobe they may get swept in 4 games in the 1st round.

    2 Reason why the Lakers with will not far:
    1. No bench. Ranked 28th
    2. Kobe is old. His legs will not last any long series

    If Kobe was 3 years younger I would pick the Lakers to contend for the West.
    He’s done a remarkable job to league in scoring and playing through all those injuries.

    Rest Kobe and hope for the best.

    • Jones17 says:

      3 years younger? The Lakers won it 2 years ago. You sir are an idiot. The Lakers bench is ranked 28th in scoring but does not mean they are awful. They don’t play a high amount of minutes anyway as 3 starters average 35+ mnutes a game and now Sessions is higher than 30 minutes aswell. I would love to see points per minute played compared with the rest of the league and include defense and +/-. All that is missing from the lakers is a scoring guard off the bench, hence why Kobe has played so many minutes. Blake, Barnes, Murphy/McRoberts would be a solid group if Lakers had a backup SG (who can actually shoot) to play with them and either Bynum/Gasol.

    • Lakers will get far in the playoff this season.We did it twice in a row we can do it again. One season they did win 4 games in a row without kobe. So whatcha got to say about that. And no matter how old kobe gets and no matter what team he goes to he will always be my favorite player and lakers will always be my favorite team.
      And he is not old. Look how old michael jordan was and still played nasty

  29. Domainsnext says:

    I sent you this email befor tonight game please get it to published.
    Hello Fran,

    I read your article about Andrew Bynum. What you need to know about me first, is that I am a father of two sons around Bynum’s age and I am also a Lakers’ fan. As a matter of fact, I am one of Bynum’s enthusiasts who loves how he has grown as an athlete. I wish that you and all of the others would stop getting on his case and let him grow up as a proud young talented man, who has a very bright future if everyone would stop picking on him and cramping his style. And I wish all of you commentators would get over it, especially you and Jim Hill and James Worthy.

    I have seen Bynum grow and become who he is today. I saw him help bring a championship to the Lakers with n injured foot. I attended each and every one of the games that Bynum has played since he joined the Lakers, and those games where he was sidelined by injuries that were caused by someone else. Bynum did not make a big fuss and curse those who caused the injuries, but took them like a man and worked very hard through the injuries, and for the first time, Andrew Bynum is the athlete we anticipated him to be, and the one he also wanted to be. He is not a kid anymore. He is a 24-Year old athlete and not the same kid who came to the NBA seven years ago. Nobody calls Dwight Howard a kid. Nobody calls Kevin Durant a kid. Nobody called Magic Johnson a kid when he was 21 years old. I have no idea why everyone looks at Bynum as a kid who has not grown up yet. Look around you and see that he is the best center in the league today and give him some respect, rather than criticizing him and making a big deal out of nothing. I am not sure what all of the fuss is about. It is silly that everyone is talking about the 3-pointer that he shot saying that the shot was ill-advised. I guarantee that Bynum can shoot, and the three-pointer, one day, will be as easy for him as a slam dunk. This will never materialize unless he tries it. How many times have the greatest players like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar made a shot that was worse than the three-pointer that Bynum shot and nobody criticized them? How many shots did Kobe take this year that did not go in, and were in my opinion worse than Bynum’s three pointer? How many times has Pau Gasol shot ill-advised shots that no one said anything about? How many times has he lost the ball as if his hands were made out of dough? I don’t want Bynum to be like that. I want him to be tough and stand his ground and be the athlete he aspires to be and not the one you all want him to be.

    I hope you can post my email to you as a response to your email, so the Lakers’ real fans can have a voice that can be heard loud and clear by Andrew Bynum.
    Mansour

  30. allaroundballer says:

    Bulls got better system, so they can still manage without Rose. Lakers win when their stars (Kobe,Bynum,Gasol) play well. If Bynum spoils himself Lakers could end up 5th place

  31. Dillon says:

    I agree completely, dont stress anything out and come back too early. Rest, get healthy, and make a deep playoff run!

  32. Ted says:

    They are doing great without Kobe. Bynum and Gasol are flourishing down low due to extra touches and its better if Kobe rests a little bit longer so he’s ready for the playoffs.

  33. jonski22 says:

    Lakers just won again vs. Spurs without Kobe…i say, rest him while they keeping that 3rd spot in the West. No rush for him to get into action, Kobe needs to be healthy in play-off and well rested.

  34. NBA says:

    They should rest Kobe on friday vs. the Nuggets. They should bring him back in for the final 2 weeks because the Lakers don’t want him out of shape and in a scoring slump.

  35. Jonathan B. says:

    The win in San Antonio tonight on the road will help this Laker team gain some confidence without the leading scorer going into this battle for home court advantage for at least the first round. Kobe is right to be cautious since without him performing as he does normally, the Lakers likelihood of taking the Western Crown diminishes. If the Lakers can rest Kobe and keep getting the recent production of World Peace, Bynum and Sessions, then they can enter the playoffs primed to try to take it all.

  36. Anon says:

    Both please? It can be done..

  37. seventeen says:

    LAKESHOW WILL SURGE ON PLAYOFFS!

  38. SaYo says:

    no kobe – no championship
    whos gna catch them up if their trailing by couple points in the 4th?

    • Ben says:

      I agree to a certain extent, but note that when it comes to FG% in crunch-time Bynum has not only proven that he can be a reliable option, but an effective one at that. Granted, he’s taken much closer, easier shots, but the Lalers might actually grow from not having Kobe chuck shots for the last two minutes of the game.
      P.S: This coming from a die-hard Kobe/Laker fan

  39. Mark says:

    Bang kobe really needs to rest to be fully healthy this coming playoffs , no worries leave the rest of the season to the rest of the team they still have gasol bynum the two towers and world peace making some noise these past games lakers can handle this only need is a trust and support….