The Lakers haven’t completely rounded themselves into playoff form just yet, but the bench has certainly made strides towards becoming an added benefit for the team as opposed to a liability.
Steve Blake came through as both set-up guy and three-point threat against Dallas while Bryant was treated for a sprained ankle sustained during the final minutes of the third quarter. His activity on the defensive end didn’t go unnoticed, forcing a few turnovers and preventing J.J. Barea from having his way in the paint.
After sustaining what looked like a severe ankle sprain, Kobe Bryant is considered a game-time decision for the matchup against Orlando. The Lakers’ next game isn’t until Friday against Minnesota. Should Bryant miss tonight’s game, it could buy him four full days of rest and treatment, five counting Sunday, although Jackson doesn’t anticipate that fact swaying his decision to play Bryant.
He did reference the span of six games that Bryant missed last season as ultimately benefitting him in the finals, but all indications point to Bryant being on the floor if he’s feeling up to it.