March 14, 2011

Do The Lakers Need to Rest Kobe?

Kobe Bryant was scared $#@-less.

Kobe feared that he would be done for the season when he sprained his ankle awkwardly in very crucial game against the Dallas Mavericks a couple of days ago. Kobe went out, but went back in and thankfully not in a wheelchair *cough*Paul Piece*cough*. Kobe seems to be good enough even though he's hurt the same ankle in a previous game.

But from the start of the season, there has been a recurring theme for the Los Angeles Lakers: keep Kobe fresh for the playoffs. And Phil Jackson seems to subscribe to that notion as he cut Kobe's minutes significantly. To put this in perspective, Kobe's playing time this season is his lowest since becoming a starter for the Lakers in his entire career. This seems to support the idea that with Kobe's age and mileage, a three-peat would be realizable once he's in top condition.

With the playoffs looming in the horizon and the Lakers just games away from the Mavericks for the #2 spot in the Western Conference, resting Kobe now would be crazy.

But think about it, the Lakers have fifteen games left, and after their game against the Orlando Magic, the team will face the Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers. All of these teams, with the exception of the Blazers, are lottery-bound.

Maybe it's time for the Lakers to rest him in that stretch. The Lakers match-up well against the upcoming teams and they can afford to play through Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the post.

But knowing Kobe, he's a warrior. He'll play through this. So I suggest avoiding low-cut shoes to prevent turning his ankle in the coming games.

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