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Jordan Farmar

Kobe Bryant or not, LA’s shooting guards must step up

For the past decade and a half, this specific post has been, quite frankly, really, really boring.
“Kobe Bryant will be the Lakers’ starting shooting guard. He is going to play 35+ minutes a night and he is going to be amazing. Let’s hope that _____ can shore up anywhere between 10 and 13 minutes a night when the Mamba rests and recharges for a fourth quarter surge.”
And Kazaam! One 7-foot genie later, we’re done.
But with one wrong step on a scoring drive six months ago, this post became infinitely more intriguing. Perhaps not just for now, but for the foreseeable future.
Kobe Bryant most likely will not be LA’s opening night shooting guard for the first time since 2006, as he rehabs from a ruptured Achilles tendon. The team has still not given out a specific time table for the two-time Finals MVP’s return, but the usual recovery schedule from such an injury is anywhere from six to nine months. You’re on the clock, Mamba.
Thus, one could argue that the Lakers’ 2-guard understudies haven’t been this important in almost 20 years. Several players are going to have to play heavy minutes alongside starting point guard Steve Nash, a trend which I suspect will continue even when Bryant eventually comes back. Regardless of how competitive and relentless Kobe is, he’s still a 35-year-old man trying to make it back from what is usually an extremely debilitating injury that changes the trajectory of many, if not most careers. He won’t be able to hit the ground running at 35-40 minutes upon his return, which makes his supporting cast of 2-guards even more important than usual. This just in: Kobe Bryant is a mortal man.
Let’s take a detailed look at just who will be filling out Mike D’Antoni’s SG slot this season:
(Read on at Silver Screen & Roll)
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