The Los Angeles Lakers are winning big basketball games, and Kobe Bryant continues to sit on the bench. No one is going to suggest that #24 is no longer needed by the Lakers, but it is intriguing to watch this team play without their longtime star. More players are getting involved, the defense is solid, and the team is playing with confidence. At some point Kobe will return, but is it possible that the Lakers might actually be a better team at this point without him?
Beating good teams
It would be different if the Lakers were somehow sneaking by the worst teams in the NBA. However, the Lakers won their fourth straight game and three of those wins were against Western Conference playoff teams. Perhaps the most important win was the game against the Spurs on April 11 when Andrew Bynum pulled down 30 rebounds. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers can beat the Spurs again on April 17 when San Antonio visits Los Angeles.