Kobe Bryant has said he will not let the Los Angeles Lakers miss the playoffs, but if they do, Bryant will make sure he ends the season giving it his all.
Over the past several games, Bryant has logged in 40-plus minutes and the Lakers needed him nearly every second. In the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers, Bryant sat out for less than a minute and he was working as hard as he could whenever he was on the court.
Even though the Lakers could not beat the Clippers, it was clear that Kobe was doing whatever it took to complete the comeback.
After the game, Kobe spoke to the media and Mike Trudell tweeted that Bryant is willing to play 48 minutes if it helps guide the Lakers to victory.
Kobe is the one wanting to play all 48 minutes, as he reiterated just now. “I feel fine.” Not fatigued as he was after the last game.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 7, 2013
Bryant may be willing to play all 48 minutes, but it’s the toll that these minutes are taking on his game, especially late in the fourth quarter, that’s most concerning to the team. Even if Bryant says he’s able to play the entire game, there’s little question that the impact all the compounded minutes are having on him has been an issue late in recent games. Still, unless Mike D’Antoni chooses to do something differently, don’t expect Bryant’s minute load to decrease anytime soon.
The Lakers will be back on the court Tuesday night when they play the New Orleans Hornets, a must-win this late in the season. The Jazz will also be in action that night and if the Thunder manage to beat the Jazz and the Lakers win, Los Angeles will reclaim the eight seed in the conference.