Kobe Bryant Injury: Players Who Must Step Up in Absence of Lakers Star

Regardless of whether the Los Angeles Lakers make the playoffs this April, their championship hopes have taken a devastating blow in the wake of Kobe Bryant's probable Achilles tear Friday night against Golden State.

With two tough games still left to play against San Antonio and Houston, who are both vying for better playoff seeding in the Western Conference, the Lakers are in serious danger of missing the playoffs altogether this spring unless they can get some timely contributions from a few key players.

Below we'll highlight the players who must step up the rest of the way in Kobe's absence.


Steve Nash

A two-time NBA MVP, Steve Nash can be more than just a facilitator if he comes back from injury. The 39-year-old point guard is one of the most accurate shooters in NBA history, and will need to help carry the scoring load for L.A. while Bryant sits. 

Nash is averaging just 12.7 points per game this season, but shooting 50 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc. He's got to attempt more than nine or 10 shots per game from here on out; he's too good a shooter not to.

Though Nash can stroke it from anywhere on the floor, the veteran floor general is arguably at his best when creating opportunities for others. And Kobe's absence from the Lakers lineup should allow him more touches and therefore more chances to create for the L.A. big men.

If Nash can play a role similar to the one he had in Phoenix, taking what the defense gives him, then the Lakers will be in good hands.


Antawn Jamison

Like Nash, Antawn Jamison has been around a long time, and understands what it takes to win in the NBA. Unfortunately, the 36-year-old power forward has been up and down this season, sometimes settling for outside shots far too often.

If the Lakers are going to make the playoffs and make n...

About the Author