Kobe Bryant: Should He Start Resting Down the Stretch Before Playoffs?

There are only nine games left for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, and the question on every Laker fan's mind is:

Is it time to start resting Kobe Bryant for the big finish?

I thought about it for a while weighing the benefits of both courses of action, and realized that the correct answer may not be the most obvious one. When it comes to resting important players, it's usually a good idea. The odds are that this star player has been carrying a large bulk of the load all season long now, and it wouldn't be a terrible thing for him to catch a breather. If you add to that a record like the one the Lakers have, it may seem obvious that this star should sit out a while. I feel like this couldn't be more wrong for Kobe Bryant however, and here's why.

The first thing you have to think about is the Lakers' current record. It's deceptive because while being good, the Lakers are still trying to fend off the Mavericks for the second playoff spot, and could also possibly overtake the Spurs for the number one spot in the West. No one thought the Lake show would have a chance at the top honors this year, but with the Spurs slipping like they have been lately, anything is possible with nine games still left on the schedule. If you look to the Eastern Conference, the Lakers still have to work hard in order to ensure home-court advantage no matter what should they hope to make the finals this year.

If you start resting Kobe Bryant now, maybe nothing will happen. Maybe the Lakers will band together and allow Kobe to get some much needed rest. They may also tank a few straight games, risk losing home court against the East, and could slip to the third spot in the West. I'm not sure what Dr. Buss has in mind, but that's not something I would want to risk with the Lakers on a roll like they are. You can certainly shave a few minutes off his nightly assignment, but in no way, shape or form should they sit him.

Now you're th...

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