One question is answered:
But then it gets a little murky from there.
How will he look? Who loses playing time? Will the
Answers on the way. Maybe.
Bryant will play 20-something minutes against Toronto, Lakers Coach
"He's not going to be above the rim for a while, which is fine," D'Antoni said. "There's been great players that have played below the rim. He'll have to do that for a little bit."
Bryant did not talk to reporters Saturday. Until Sunday's game is over, his work will have to take the place of his words.
His eyes were reddened when he met with reporters in front of his locker April 12, propped up on crutches after falling to the court with 3:08 to play against
Bryant was visited by trainer Gary Vitti on the court and stayed in the game only to make two free throws before walking slowly off with
"I made a move that I make a million times and it just popped," Bryant said at the time.
Now he's a 35-year-old coming off a traumatic sports injury, D'Antoni saying "I think so" when asked Saturday if Bryant could come close to the 27.3 points and six assists he averaged last season.
"I don't think right at the start, but I'd give him a month and he should be back to those numbers," D'Antoni said.
Bryant will start at shooting guard and sometimes slide over to the point with the Lakers down to one healthy point guard (
Regardless, lineup changes are on the way.
"You throw that boulder in the water, there's going to be some ripples. Serious ripples," D'Antoni said. "People have to adjust to it."
The biggest loser will be
"I figured it was coming," Meeks said. "But for me personally, my role doesn't change. I just have to come in, be solid on defense, knock down shots."
Bryant's return wouldn't add any pressure to a team that was treading water in the rough-and-tumble Western Conference, Meeks said.
"Still the underdogs," he added. "He's a great player but at the same time he hasn't played in a while. We need him but he also needs us to help him get through his rustiness."
The Lakers were 10th in the conference going into Saturday's games, two spots below the playoff cutoff.
Sacre will continue to start at center for the Lakers after making his first career start Friday against Sacramento. He had 11 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes in the Lakers' 106-100 victory.
Steve Nash will not play Sunday because of nerve damage in his back, and reserve point guard