Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant To Return Friday

Kobe Bryant will reportedly return to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup Friday as he prepares himself and the team for a deep playoff run. Bryant has missed the last seven games with a shin injury.

“It will kind of establish my rhythm more,” Bryant said Wednesday night. “It finishes the season up the right way and generates the momentum we need toward the postseason.”

The Lakers will go on the road to take on the Western Conference leading San Antonio Spurs in an important matchup for both teams. San Antonio only leads the Oklahoma City Thunder by a half game while Los Angeles has city rival Los Angeles Clippers right on their heels with only a half game back.

As much as Bryant’s shin injury may be bothering him, it certainly has not bothered the Lakers as they have won five of their last seven games. However, the team will greatly benefit the return of Bryant as the postseason is a mere three games away.

When Bryant was asked about the chances of this team in the playoffs he gave an honest answer.

“I feel very good about it,” Bryant said, according to Yahoo! Sports. “I believe it’s a championship team. I know it when I see it.”

Bryant has been around long enough to know what teams have what it takes to go the distance so I will take his word for it. If Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol can play as good as they have in recent weeks then Los Angeles should have a solid chance of doing some damage in the West. Not to mention, the addition of point guard Ramon Sessions helps out a lot as he can distribute the ball well.

I have the Lakers going all the way to the Western Conference Finals in my early NBA predictions. However, I have them losing to Oklahoma City as I see the Thunder winning it all this year.

In 56 games this season Bryant is averaging 28.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.21 steals per game while shooting 43.0 percent from the field.

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