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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant Cannot Keep These Gutsy Performances Going

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Spo

Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant had yet another one of those “wow” games in effort to push his team into the eighth spot in the Western Conference.

Pouring in 47 points wasn’t enough. He had to throw in eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals to go along with it. Unfortunately, fans should not get used to seeing these nights for very much longer.

While this performance was nothing short of incredible, it has me wondering: Can he keep this up?

Bryant already noted earlier on in the season that his body has given him more troubles this year than in any previous seasons. He has talked about how his body just cannot hold up like it used to in the past, and he is risking his physical health game in and game out.

Within the same interview, Bryant also said he planned to retire after the 2013-2014 season. Asked whether there was anything that could possibly change his mind, he said, “no.”

Although he seems as if he is not human at times, if any season has proven the contrary to be true, it is this one. The most challenging and taxing times may be ahead of him, heading into the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers will be all set to face off against the West’s elite in the San Antonio Spurs if they can hold on a little longer in that eighth spot.

For Bryant, this won’t be a walk in the park. He used to be able to waltz into the playoffs and perform as if he was born to destroy title hopes of his opposition. In a couple of weeks, he will reveal to us all that he is not that guy anymore.

For the Lakers to have any chance of making it past the Spurs, he will definitely need some help from his supporting cast.

Ryan Heckman is a writer for  RantSports.com covering the NBA and NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.