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Kobe's playing time...tick, tick, tick

Here's another reason the Lakers miss Ron Artest: Kobe Bryant's minutes are creeping steadily upward.

Not only are the Lakers lacking defensively in recent games, but Bryant has played 47 minutes, 43 minutes, a relatively breezy 36 and a staggering 51 minutes in the four games Artest has missed because of a concussion.

That's a lot of time logged by Bryant, who often slides to small forward in offensive sets without Artest.

Dare I say it...the Lakers also miss Luke Walton, who is set to return some time this month from a pinched nerve in his back. Without commenting on his play (I'll leave that to our readers), the 10.6 minutes a game Walton was logging would surely help Bryant get more rest these days.

Artest might return tonight against Dallas. If not, the Lakers hope he will be back Tuesday against Houston.

Bryant, no surprise, isn't complaining about the excess time.

"Right now, we've just got to pick it up a little bit more, play a little bit more," he said. "We've got Luke out, we've got Ron out, so our small-forward lineup is kind of thin right now, so I'm carrying the bulk of those minutes."

Bryant, 31, is averaging 38.7 minutes a game this season after averaging 36.1 minutes a game last season.

--MIke Bresnahan

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Guess what? I have a bold prediction the Lakers are going to be okay this season, and this mini slump is just part of the process of the long NBA regular season. It is more important as a basketball team for the Lakers to be peaking around April. You can bet your life that the Lakers will have there antenna's up and show up for the playoffs this year. I think are expectations as Laker fans are way out of proportion and we just need to relax and be more positive.

Minutes played is a big factor. It hasn't gone unnoticed by us that Kobe is playing waaaay too many minutes. Gasol is too for that matter. We all remember how Boston was doing well last year until Garnet's injury bug bit. We shouldn't push it with our National Treasure "Kobe Ben Bryant."

R.D. good point about us relaxing. Were you around for the 6 weeks that Lamar Odom and the Lakers were at an impasse? LOL! What PAIN we all felt!
It seems in our nature to tinker, play GM and to outright complain because we are after all, Lakerholics! Admitting that is half of the solution I am told. Now, if we just had a ....

Please forgive the repeat:

If we had one of our bloggers run the blog, either temporarily or permanently, who would you choose? Mamba24? TomK? Mr. Gueco? Rick Friedman? Laker Tom? Caliphilosopher has nominated himself. I'll second that !!!

It would make a great story and increase participation if a person was "promoted" to chief of staff. If we push it, perhaps one of our prolific bloggers will be allowed to post an article a day and do the monitoring for limited pay.

So, who of our able Lakers family would you most like to see run a post a day? Corner J voted for Mamba24 and JonK. I'd say the combination could get it done.

Come on Times, its a great story, let's try it in the interim ! Pay Caliphilosopher or run a poll or choose who you like.

Who should the times let post?


Do you guys realize that we have the #1 overall rated player in the league, we have a top 5 Small forward, TWO Top Ten power forwards (Gasol top 3, Lamar top 10), and the #3 Center in the League. That's amazing and I am grateful!
If we deploy Gasol at Center, he is top 5 at that position? I say, yes. With Gasol at the 5, we give up bulk and power and therefore counter with more speed, ball movement and defensive attitude. Nice options!

Let's face it, with Ron out we are now counting on 7 players to win games. From these 7 players we have 3 Point guards, 3 bigs and one Kobe Bryant. The only way to have some sort of balance is to keep Kobe in the game as much as possible (basically as much as he wants). Lamar is also bringing balance but difficult to see him keeping up the same level for 40+ minutes.

Regarding tonight's game, I want to see Gasol earning his All Star spot neutralizing Dirk, Bynum eating Dampier in the paint and Fisher being able to defend this Kidd guy.

Jack I hope you are back to your front row seat tonight.

Lakers can't play the Mavericks like what they did from Christmas Day to New Year's Day. Got to change the mojo from LO to Bynum; from Fisher to Farmar; from Sasha to Josh; from Shannon to, we need energy, we need purple and gold defense and most of all, it is REVENGE time against the Mavericks.

Your fans admire your way of winning in a punk, sloppy and clumpsy basketball and yet you are the No. 1 team, indeed NBA games must be going to the dogs .

By the way, I started reading "When the game was ours" and it really brings back good memories...I think sometimes I forget how good was Larry Bird. Even if a Celtic player his rivalry with Magic was the best of the best. Good old times!

I also want to get "the art of the beautiful game". I heard its a really good book. If anyone has it, I appreciate your thoughts.

From the beginning of the league we have been the best, The Freaking LA Lakers pass every Test
Best team, Owner, Coach, Player & Blog, in every freaking category The Lakers get the knod
We don’t measure our self against other teams; we measure against each other Shaq vs. Kareem
That’s because we are so damn good, no other team is even close to our winning neighborhood
Even our blog is a thing to see, it’s won 2 awards and Sorts writers steal from it freely.
LakerTom, K-Blitz, CornerJ to name a few, The sports columnist aint got nothing on you.
You provide the news before they even know it, Then they steal from you & get paid for it.
But that’s all a part of being Laker nation, In every field we do no less than total domination.
A New Year is here and what do you say, Happy New Year to the best team in the NBA
Happy New Year to my beloved Blog family, I Thank each of you for letting me be me.
Now I go to prepare the 1st new year Roll Call, I want an “Answer Up” from all of y’all
I never have to hope for a Happy New Year, Happiness is being a Laker fan you hear
So mamba24 is about through, We’re the Laker Nation and it aint nothing we can’t do
WHO ARE WE!!!!!!
I was listening to a broadcast and what did I see
A bunch of buffons praising the Princess Jimmy
So announcers if you don’t know who the Lakers be
Let me tell you and the world who are we
We’re the World Champion LA Lakers , we’ve won 15 Rings
10 of the 50 Greatest players played under our wings
We’ve had 3 Laker Dynasties and now are starting on 4
That’s 2 better than any NBA team ever had before
The best Winning Percentage in History, yeah that’s true
You want Hall of Fame Coaches, Check it, we’ve had two.
We got the Finals MVP, You know the Name Kobe Bryant
He scored more points than an entire team without even trying
He scored 81 points in a game & could have scored more
But number of Rings not number of points is what he plays for.
We got The Logo Jerry West & The Great George Mikan
The smooth one Elgin Baylor & Magic Johnson the Icon.
We’ve had great centers like Shaq, Wilt & of course KAREEM
Great guards like Worthty, Silk & Goodrich played on This Team
Karl Malone & Gary Payton, A glove & Mailman we just leased
A 10 time Title Winning Coach who mastered Zen in the East
Chick Hearn the Legend, Broadcasted our Lakers Games
Now he’s Broadcasting from Heaven & is in the Hall of Fame
We got Sports Winningest & Best Owner, Thanks Dr. Jerry Buss
We play for Rings & Rings only , which is why all teams fear us.
That’s just a summary of our Resume, we don’t talk we Do.
We’re The Freaking Champion LAKERS, Who the Hell are You!!

Fantastic - someone else also happens to notice that Luke actually helps this team out.

I nominate LakerTom or Edwin Gueco no doubt. Although JohnnyP wouldn't be bad. Shooooot....just throw a dart at a name board, everybody got skilllllls!

Johnny V,

Not qualified to be a moderator, could not even complete a post w/o a typo, I'm just a plain kibitzer and a rebel rousing rascal on overflowing lakerholics. haha! Also remove the Mr. I feel really very old after a spending a decade in the 21st Century lol! just call me Edwin G.

As long as Kobe feels OK,playing time should not be much of an issue here.Did you notice the spring on his legs when he swished that 3?Last year he was tired from the Olympics etc.Averaging 38-40 minutes this season should be OK for him and for the Lakers.Hope he gets his 2 MVPs this year.

I think Lakers are better served starting Lamar Odom and bringing Bynum off the bench permanently. I think Odom plays overall better as a starter and Bynum is better off with the 2nd unit. This starting unit will help the Lakers get off to faster starts and Bynum's production will increase playing with the other teams 2nd unit. By the way... lets be realistic with all due respect Bynum is not a top 3 center in the NBA. Bynum is a complete letdown and I just do not see it in him, but luckily we do not need him to win a ring. Personally, I can not stand Bynum he is a flat out WIMP and has not intensity or passion!

If I may, I'll be the first to say that I'm really excited about the next person (or team) taking the helm of the Lakers Blog, though it's certainly understandable and warranted and downright necessary to express the expectations that this community has of LA Times. K-Bros' sudden jettison shook my world, thousands miles away. I was really worried that all the regulars were going to follow suit. Let me say that this is certainly one of the best displays of loyalty, virtually unprecedented, how a group of strangers stick together during a time of change. Well, then again, not strangers entirely, though I haven't really made my own dent here. And the thought of not seeing (insert Lakers Bandwagon here) compelled me to join in on the fanaticism while it lasts. And I only hope it keeps going.
I was on the Live Blog for the beginning and the end of the Kings game, and since the game didn't air on Armed Forces Network, the blog was my eyes to the game. When AK posted 4.1 seconds left, I saw the optimism, the faith in Kobe, and was really confident that the floods of "koooooobeeee" "oooooooohhhhhh" "Kobe MVP Kobe MVP!" were bound to appear. Of course they did, what a great way to start the year!
justanothermambafan-thanks for welcoming me on the live blog at the beginning! Means a lot. Sorry I missed your question about what I do. I'm a combat photographer/videographer for the Army, but lately I see combat "only a little on t.v."
ChicNstu-thanks for the link and good wishes. All of you who did, thanks again.

I noticed in the playoffs last year that Luke can contribute especially when the game slows down. It wasn't the Finals but more either against Houston or Denver a couple of games where he actually controlled for a short while getting key rebounds and hitting 3s.

I too don't like the extra mintues Kobe is playing but remember he is paid to play. Bynum will be fine. Yes, it would surely help that Rambis was still part of the staff but he ain't. Let's also remember that this season is really his 2nd in the league since he did not play much in his rookie season and a partial the next 2 seasons. Besides all that, he was a project with tremendous upside in the first place and was nowhere near polished. Lastly, he is only 22 - he will get better. We shall see tonight against Dampier, Dirk, and the Matrix. Keep ya head up Drew, we need you.



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