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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

5 Reasons Why Kobe Bryant Can Still Save The Los Angeles Lakers

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5 Reasons the Lakers Will Be Saved By Kobe Bryant

5 Reasons the Lakers Will Be Saved By Kobe
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, April 12 2012, Kobe Bean Bryant tore his Achilles tendon while trying to drive past Golden State WarriorsHarrison Barnes. The Los Angeles Lakers were able to win their last two games of the 2012 season without Bryant, however, that was the last time the Lakers would win back-to-back games without him.

Since that point, the Lakers were swept in the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs, Dwight Howard left L.A. and now plays for the Houston Rockets, Metta World Peace was amnestied, Steve Nash continues to get worse each and every game he plays, and Pau Gasol has lost his big boy pants again. If all of that doesn’t tell you how bad the Lakers have been since Bryant went down, the fact that Mike D’Antoni is still head coach of the Lakers is just the icing on the terrible cake the Lakers have been eating.

L.A. has started this season 5-7 without Kobe, and only sits 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Now that Bryant has been cleared to return to all basketball activities, it is only a matter of time before the Black Mamba returns to the court for the Lakers.

What should be expected of Bryant? Well, based on reports from his teammates, Bryant is looking like, well, Bryant. That may or may not be a bluff, but I fully expect Bryant to immediately help the Lakers once he returns to his role as the starting shooting guard for the purple and gold.

Here are five reasons why everyone should expect Bryant’s return to save the Lakers.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at black24mamba@aol.com

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5. Lakers' Depth Improves

5. Lakers' Depth Improves
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With Bryant taking over the starting shooting guard role, that will move Steve Blake back to the bench. Moving Blake back to the bench where he belongs helps the bench out even more, and as long as the bench remains productive, the Lakers' depth will be even deeper after Bryant's return.

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4. He'll Help Pau Gasol Find His Big Boy Pants

4. He'll Help Pau Find His Big Boy Pants
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol's season has been rather forgetful to this point. Bryant seems to be able to motivate Gasol, so his return should help Gasol return to a prominent level of play.

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3. He Can Carry the Scoring Load

3. He Can Carry the Scoring Load
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When Jodie Meeks is your leading scorer, you know there's a problem. We all know Bryant has no problem hoisting up shots, so him taking over the scoring load will immensely help out the team, and help them down the stretch of close games.

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2. He Knows How to Win a Championship

2. He Knows How to Win a Championship
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bryant is highly unlikely to win his sixth ring this season, but his demeanor sure won't show it. He will play every game and expect his team to play every game like it's a must win.

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1. He's Kobe Bryant

1. He's Kobe
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Bryant being Bryant is enough to save the Lakers. Even if Gasol continues to struggle and the bench is unable to maintain their level of play, Bryant has the ability, by himself, to save the Lakers. Just seeing his name in the lineup will light the city of L.A. right up with enthusiasm and hope. When Bryant finally steps back out on the court, the prodigal son of L.A. will have returned home.