The Los Angeles Lakers have played two games since Kobe Bryant‘s return, and they have managed to lose both of those games due to an absolutely atrocious showing on defense by the team as a whole. Since the Black Mamba has reentered the starting lineup the Lakers have gone from over .500 to under .500 in a flash, but there simply is no reason to panic.
It is going to take Bryant time to shake the rust off and get back to playing like a version of his former self, but he’s already shown quick improvement from one game to the next. It is also going to take time for the other players on the Lakers to get used to playing with a player that demands so much attention and so much time with the ball. Lakers guard Nick Young grew up in Los Angeles watching Bryant play and has already stated that he catches himself watching Bryant instead of playing. It is going to take time for this transition to occur. Bryant has played close to 30 minutes both nights since his return but went from a nine-point, eight-turnover night in his first game back to a much improved 20-point, three-turnover night the second time around. That’s a sign that things are already looking up.
The Lakers are still only 21 games into an 82-game season, and they will continue to improve the more practice time and playing time they get together as a cohesive unit. Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni will also continue to change up the starting lineup and rotation in an effort to give the Lakers the best possible chance for success. The days of the rumors about the Lakers trying to tank this season are long over as they will continue to fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
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