Kobe Bryant Set To Return, How Will the Los Angeles Lakers Respond?

He says his ankle feels fine, his finger feels better, and the back spasms have all but disappeared.  So by all accounts Kobe Bryant is prepared to make his return.

But are his teammates ready for him?

Ready or not, Bryant will make his second-half season debut tonight in Memphis, and the way he and his teammates adjust to his return will go a long way in determining the course of the season for the Los Angeles Lakers.

It's no secret that the Lakers played well in his absence, going 4-1 with their only loss a one point defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics. The precision they displayed was impeccable.

Los Angeles played so well, in fact, there were scores of people who actually offered the opinion that the Lakers were a better team without Bryant in the fold.

An absurd assumption indeed, but one which contained a hint of truth.

It's true the Lakers were a more cohesive unit in Bryant's wake, but that is the result of various talented players staying within the confines of the triangle offense and trusting in the abilities of teammates.

Bryant is well-versed in the triangle, but sometimes existed outside of the scheme when he felt it was necessary, and his free-style type of play often left his teammates out of position.

Not entirely a bad thing.

There were numerous instances in which this translated to Laker victories due to Bryant shunning the scripted plays and taking matters into his own hands.

Conversely, this also worked against the Lakers.

In some cases, Bryant assumed too much of the responsibility and found himself pressing or taking bad shots to the detriment of his team.

In order for the Lakers to be successful, some type of medium must be found, where the precision of the Laker offense and the instincts of Bryant can peacefully coexist in the same space.

Bryant is one of the more intelligent...

About the Author