24's bum right index finger is having a larger effect on his shot than he'd care to say, even while Bryant admitted getting serious face time of late with trainer Gary Vitti over the past week-plus trying to figure out the right way to support the wonky digit. Splint, no splint. Tape, how much tape? Sunday, he tried to go without the splint (or as Phil Jackson calls it, "his prosthetic"), but it didn't work. "It wasn't strong enough," Bryant said.
After the game, Kobe and PJ both addressed "the finger." Kobe was his typically stoic self typically stoic self, almost casually noting the difference in support and touch with and without the splint, how and when the swelling comes, and so on. It's reasonable to believe he won't miss time- not for a finger at least- but this whole 30% shooting thing isn't going to work, either.