Five-time champion Kobe Bryant went down last night during the final seconds of the game between the Lakers and the Hawks. Bryant landed awkwardly upon some tough but “Dirty” Defense on the part of Hawks shooting-guard Dahntay Jones. When Bryant was asked by the media if he felt that Jones action was “Deliberate” Kobe had this to say:
“I don’t ever want to put that on somebody, I really don’t,” Bryant said. “I just think players need to be made conscious of it and I think officials need to protect shooters. Period.”
“As defensive players, you can contest shots, but you can’t walk underneath players,” Bryant said. “That’s dangerous for the shooter.”
Bryant was diagnosed with a severe ankle sprain and he’s out “Indefinitely”. Okay well enough about the Lakers!
Although this may be bad news for Laker Nation, it’s GREAT news for Planet Orange. The Lakers have recently bumped the Utah Jazz out of eighth place and have moved 1/2 game above the Jazz as the two teams are competing for the eighth and final playoff spot in the west.
With that being said, if the Lakers make the playoffs this season, the Phoenix Suns will be awarded a 2013 first-round draft choice that belongs to the Miami Heat, a pick that will likely be in the late twenties. However, if the Lakers miss the playoffs, the Suns will be awarded a 2013 first-round draft choice that belongs to the Lakers, and if the Lakers miss the playoffs that means that pick would be a lottery pick.
The Suns will have a high draft position this season and if the Suns are able to secure an extra lottery pick, it’ll be huge, especially given the fact that there’s so much talent in the 2013 NBA draft. Unlike last year’s draft, the best players in this year’s draft has proven to be tougher to identify.
Obviously a lottery pick is far more valuable than that of a late first-rounder that belongs to the Heat and with the Suns in their current position, they’ll need all the help they can get come draft time; an extra lottery pick is something the Suns can’t afford to lose.
Kobe Bryant has been the driving force for the Lakers all season, Dwight Howard has been banged-up, Pau Gasol has been banged-up and even our own Steve Nash hasn’t been fully healthy. If Bryant misses extended time, the Lakers will very likely miss the playoffs as a result.
The Lakers will play six of their next eight games on the road, including one against the Suns in Phoenix. Needless to say that game will be VITAL!