Lakers News: Los Angeles Can’t Wait for Kobe Bryant’s Return to Develop Identity

Two games into the 2013 NBA regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers are 1-1 with performances that hit both ends of the spectrum.

If the 116-103 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers and 125-94 road loss to the Golden State Warriors taught us anything, it's that L.A. lacks direction. And if Los Angeles is looking to become a postseason team, it cannot wait for Kobe Bryant to return to develop a team identity.

According to Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News, Bryant has scaled back on his activity to allow his surgically repaired torn Achilles tendon to heal from the added pressure. This has his return date in question.

Lakers fans may be anxious for his return, but Kobe is more concerned with avoiding reaggravation than placating the masses—and rightfully so.

Injuries to the lower extremities can always lead to something else. It's not about waiting until I'm 100 percent necessarily. But it’s about making sure you're running with the proper gate. We're not putting stress on other areas that can cause problems down the road.

If Los Angeles can't survive the first month or two without Kobe, its title aspirations are illegitimate to begin with.

It's worth noting that the Warriors converted 15 three-point field goals on 55.6 percent shooting from distance during L.A.'s 31-point loss. It's also worth noting that the Lakers were without point guard Steve Nash.

Unfortunately, only wins and losses shape the postseason picture. Excuses don't.


Athletically Improved, Limited on Stars

Over the course of the 2013 offseason, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak got the three-year-old memo about needing to add athletically gifted players to Los Angeles' second unit. In turn, L.A. finally has the personnel to compete with Western Conference foes who have built explosive offenses.

Unfortunately, the Lake...

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