The Triangle: On Kobe's health and more

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
11:45
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
The last few days have been filled with news on Kobe Bryant, highlighted by his 43 point performance at a Drew League game Tuesday afternoon, so it's no surprise to see he's the subject of the newest installment of The Triangle. This week, I'm joined by ESPNLA's Ramona Shelburne, as well as 710 ESPN's Mark Willard. The questions on the table:
  1. How healthy and effective does Kobe need to be this season-- we're assuming there will be one-- for the Lakers to again reach championship form?
  2. Is Kobe still capable of hoisting a team on his back through a playoff run? (I say no, at least not purely as a scorer, because it's so much harder for him to generate easy points at the basket at this point in his career. But if the Lakers need a superhuman performance from Bryant in next spring's postseason, they're not going to win, anyway. It takes a village, and the villagers were lacking last season against the Hornets and Mavs. This isn't specific to Kobe. For any team, asking one guy to carry the load through four rounds against the NBA's best isn't a winning formula. Dallas got it with Dirk Nowitzki, but a) he did have help, and b) it's the clear exception to the rule. Stars need to be stars, but can't go it alone.)
  3. Based on what we've all seen so far this offseason, do you expect Kobe to play the 2011-12 campaign in good health?

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0