Now What For the Los Angeles Lakers without Kobe?
The Lakers currently hold a 1 game lead on the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
However, what does that really mean in the context of things considering their leader and former MVP Kobe Bryant will be out indefinitely due to a probable torn Achilles.
Kobe left the game Friday night vs. the Warriors in an eventual win for the Lakers and giving them their current 1 game lead for the 8th spot in the West.
After the game, Kobe was in a state of disbelief,"Just terrible," Bryant said. "It's a terrible feeling, man."
Although Kobe is expected to make a comeback and not end his career on this note, other greats have had to because of the same exact injury.
Recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles can take anywhere from three months to a year. The Los Angeles Clippers' Chauncey Billups recently went through the process. Hall of Famer Charles Barkley's career came to an end because of it, as did the career of Bryant's longtime teammate Shaquille O'Neal.
So what do the Lakers do if they eventually hold of the Jazz and reach the playoffs?
Look at it from this perspective, which is the perspective Laker fans and the team itself will lean on for inspiration.
If you were to ask any fan preseason, not associated with the Heat, Spurs or Thunder, they would of thought the combination of Nash, Howard and Gasol on any other roster would equate a deep run in the playoffs.
But after seeing the product on the court this season, Laker fans are leery that this group minus Kobe can even make the playoffs much less make a run.
I believe the Lakers will make the playoffs and if it remains true that the "Black Mamba" is indeed out with a torn Achilles, then the group will rally around that news and make some heads turn come the playoffs.
Not saying a deep run is in the future, but discounting former MVP's, Defensive Player's of the year and superstars in this league, is not a good pattern to get into.