Fresh off a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that saw the Lakers’ lead slip to a half-game for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot, they learned they have two more severely bruised bodies on their hands.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Kobe Bryant left Los Angeles locker room on crutches.
Kobe Bryant leaving Bradley Center with use of a crutch for bone spur in foot. “Inflamed on me,” he told Y! “I’ll be all right.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) March 29, 2013
Anytime the Black Mamba goes down, the Lakers have cause for concern. He normally plays through injuries, but he’s 34 and can’t take the same risks as he used to. Or rather, he shouldn’t.
But still, he probably will.
Just because he takes that risk, however, doesn’t mean it will pay off. We watched as he struggled through the first quarter on a sprained ankle against the Indiana Pacers only to take himself out of the game.
In other words an unhealthy Kobe doesn’t mean good things for the Lakers.
What else doesn’t suggest good things are in store for this faction?
A Steve Nash injury. According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, he’s banged up as well.
Nash says it’s more like a “hip spasm”…it’s bothered him for a few days. Hopes to play Saturday vs. Sacramento.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 29, 2013
Though both Bryant and Nash hope to be fine, this is the last thing the Lakers need. Pau Gasol is still working his way back from a torn plantar fascia and Metta World Peace is out for the next six weeks. If Nash and Kobe join Metta on the sidelines, I’m not even sure the Lakers have enough players to field a team (kidding).
Normally, these injuries would be horrible. The timing on them, however, makes this even worse now. Los Angeles is clinging to what may ultimately become a fleeting playoff hope at this point. Up just a half game on the Jazz and 1.5 games on the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers need to win. And to do that, they need to be healthy; they need to have able bodies ready to procure those wins.
Will they have those bodies down the stretch?
Perhaps. As for whether they’ll be able, that’s an entirely different story.
One the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles aren’t looking forward to reading either.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.