November 13, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) grabs a rebound against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers face Spurs, Kobe injury

Well, it’s Sunday and the realization that Kobe Bryant – the Lakers one constant this season – won’t be taking the floor will start to settle in as tip-off approaches.

“We know he’s out, but we can’t put our heads down like it’s over with,” Dwight Howard said. “We have to go out there and play. We have a lot of talented guys on this team. I think we can accomplish something great, with or without Kobe.”

With Bryant sidelined, the Lakers playoff hopes now hinge entirely on the play of their their big men. Howard will have to assert himself offensively now more than ever and Pau Gasol will be faced with his demons after crying team ball.

“We’re fueled by these injuries,” said Gasol. “We want to take on the challenge and prove we’re a good team even without our best player.”

Tonight’s contest should prove to not only be an excellent gauge for what may very well be the team’s first-round playoff match up, but seeing as the Spurs currently rank fourth in the league in points per game, it will force the Lakers to deal with the lack of Bryant’s scoring firsthand.

With that, who do you think will be the most important player for the Lakers moving forward?

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