There will never be a sensible argument made for any team being better without the services of a healthy Kobe Bryant. No matter your opinion of Bryant you can’t hate on the resume or his place in hoops history. With that said the Lakers have had success in the past playing without Bryant so last night’s gut check win in Indiana should not come as much of a surprise.
Let’s not forget a few years back when the Lake Show ended what felt like a decade long draught in Portland without Bryant. That team strung together a nice win streak that had some openly questioning whether or not the Lakers were better without KB24.
Obviously that’s not the case. However in the short term this Lakers team could benefit from going sans Kobe so long as it’s a limited sample size.
The talent on the roster is real which is why this season of injury and insult has been so bitterly disappointing. Already Bryant was being stretched thin as he took on the role of offensive facilitator. Last night it was Steve Blake who helped fill in the missing scoring and distribution lost in Kobe’s absence.
Going forward it’s going to take more efforts of the Blake kind in order to keep the Lake Show in playoff position. This situation should serve as a bonding experience. At least that’s the only option given the circumstances.