After missing seven consecutive games with a shin injury, Kobe Bryant is expected to get back on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at the AT&T Center against the rival San Antonio Spurs according to Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“Why not?” he said after the Lakers’ victory over the Warriors. “I’m good.”
“It’s been good to see how much guys have progressed, doing things they would ordinarily not try to do,” (Kobe) said. “When I’m not out there, you have to do other things. You have to experiment with your game. They had a great deal of success with it.”
With just four games remaining on the regular season schedule for the Lakers, this is great news as the crosscourt rival Los Angeles Clippers have been on their heels over the past week or so and are threatening to snatch the third seed in the Western Conference if the Lakers struggle in the final four games.
Now that the Coach Kobe era in Los Angeles will most likely come to an end on Friday night with the league’s leading scorer finally getting healthy enough to put on a Lakers jersey, it will be interesting to see the impact he has on his teammates.
With Andrew Bynum, Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol playing at a high level as of late in Kobe’s absence, it could be argued that the Lakers play much better team basketball without Kobe on the floor.
It remains to be seen if that is truly the case, but the team will have to adjust regardless. It is uncertain how much time Lakers’ coach Mike Brown intends to play Kobe against the Spurs, as he might decide to limit his minutes.