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“In addition to getting Nash back, Bryant believes that a re-energized Gasol also will help the Lakers. He echoed the sentiments that Johnson made Tuesday, saying Gasol needs to be in the post more and that the Lakers need to cater the offense to the strengths of Gasol and Dwight Howard. "Mike said when he got here, to us, it's going to be a learning experience for me as well," Bryant said. "This is him addressing the team. He said, 'If you feel like I'm not using you to your strengths, if I'm not using you in the post as much as you like, let's talk about it and we can figure it out.'" Bryant believes D'Antoni and Gasol will figure it out when Gasol returns to the lineup. "I think he's the key to the whole thing," Bryant said of Gasol. "I think his ability to post the ball and make plays from the post and from the elbow, his shooting ability, his decision-making ability, we're not going to find that any place else. ... Now, it's on him to make sure he comes back in tip-top form, in tip-top condition, that his mind is in the right place, to play with the aggression and the moxie that he played with in 2010." The one superstar on the Lakers, besides Bryant -- who hasn't missed any games this season -- is Howard. He is averaging 18.4 points and 12.1 rebounds per game but is shooting a career-low 48.8 percent from the free throw line as teams implement the "Hack-a-Howard" strategy at the end of close games. Howard, for the most part, has not responded well to the strategy as he continues to struggle from the free throw line. "I think you have to look at both of us," Bryant said. "His free throw shooting has been poor, but as the two guys who are driving this team, the one thing we can do is minimize our mistakes. His free throw shooting hasn't been very well. My turnovers have been too high. So we have to try to shore those things up. It's his responsibility to take care of the line when he's fouled, it's his responsibility to step up there and knock them down. It's my responsibility to take care of the ball."
I'm a bit of a psychopath when it comes to that and I don't expect my teammates to have that level of concern, but I hope that they're feeling determined and not discouraged.” -- Kobe Bryant on Lakers' struggles