It might be a shortened NBA season but it is a hectic schedule. Maybe that’s why Kobe Bryant is balling like there is no tomorrow. While most of the league is just now starting the regular season, Kobe is acting like the playoff push is starting. Four straight games of 40+ points, each more impressive than the last and you can’t help but wonder if Bryant can keep this pace.
Mamba is playing throwback ball. He’s hooping like its 2007 all over again.
Back then the Lake Show needed every ounce of Bryant as there just weren’t enough of the championship ingredients in place to cook up another banner.
This version of the Lake Show is similar in the sense that the title tussle appears to be a real uphill battle. The difference being that Kobe’s counterparts have won rings in the not so distant past.
However the departure of Lamar Odom and the increase in age has pushed the purple and gold into a corner. Offensive production is down so Bryant is picking up the slack all by his lonesome. It’s already to the point where without maximal effort by Bryant the Lakers are almost incapable of winning.
Once upon a time we were begging for Pau Gasol to get more touches. Now he’s the third option behind Andrew Bynum. But no matter who is getting fed first after Kobe gets his, there is a massive falloff. Metta World Peace is an offensive afterthought with Steve Blake proving to be the best option off the bench. Before his injury Blake was outplaying Derek Fisher who was getting less burn as a starter.
Mitch Kupchak has got to be working the phones. There is just no way Kobe can keep this pace up, eventually the rigors of the season will prevent that from happening. We saw some of those tired legs last night against the Clippers. And just think that was a back-to-back in which the Lakers were “on the road” for the second half of the swing yet did not have to travel.
The season might be shorter but the games are coming at us quicker.
The greatness in Kobe will always shine through. We’ve seen him play through pain in meaningless games. The man loves to compete. Problem is the wear and tear of a long NBA career combined with a rushed schedule will make for a date at the crossroads with father time. Soon enough Bryant will get to that point and the real question is who will step up to fill his productivity during a tough stretch?
If it’s going to take 40 point efforts in January to beat the Cavs then what will it take to beat the Thunder in May? At this rate KB24 will have to drop 50 a night just to make it competitive. While there is no doubt he could do just that if need be, what’s concerning is whether his body will even allow it. The Lakers are just requiring too much too soon from Bryant.