Where Would the Lakers Be Without Kobe Bryant?

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a three-game winning streak and, amazingly, Kobe Bryant has scored at least 30 points in each of those victories.

Granted, the wins came against the likes of the Bobcats, 76ers and Wizards. But it's still remarkable because Kobe scoring more than 30 points and the Lakers winning doesn't usually fit in the same sentence.

In fact, Bryant has scored at least 30 points in the Lakers' past seven games, but they have only managed to win the last three.

Kobe is leading the league in scoring at 29.5 points per game, and shooting a career-best 47 percent from the field. But even though Bryant is having an MVP-type season, there are still those who say Kobe may be at the root of the Lakers' struggles.

Come again?

I know that Bryant has a tendency to dominate the ball, and at times he still tries to do too much on the offensive end. But after all the Lakers have gone through this season, Kobe's magnificent play would seem to be the least of their worries.

However, Chris Broussard of ESPN says that even though Bryant's numbers suggest he is having a great individual season, there are others who say Bryant is a main contributor to the Lakers' struggles.

Maybe the fact that Bryant leads the league in shot attempts from the field and still trusts himself more than his teammates has been detrimental to the Lakers this season. But has that contributed more to the Lakers' 12-14 start than injuries to Steve Nash and Pau Gasol?

Or what about the Lakers going through three coaches over the course of 26 games? I guess it doesn't matter that Dwight Howard is not fully healthy or that the team has struggled to adapt to Mike D'Antoni's scheme.

It's just much easier to blame Bryant's brilliance and go about your holiday plans.

But in the vein of Charles Dickens's "Christmas Carol'' and the Ghost of Christmas future, wh...

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