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Oklahoma City Thunder -12 vs Kobe and Struggling Lakers

The Mamba is back. Well, sort of.

Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City Thunder

The line suggests this game will not be close even with Kobe in the line-up. He returned to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday in a dull, but highly anticipated, return after undergoing career-threatening Achilles surgery this past offseason. The effort in the return culminated in Bryant going 2-9 from the field and had eight turnovers throughout the game. Needless to say, that’s not so great for one of the best players of all time.

In his second game back, Kobe put up 20 against the Phoenix Suns, however the Lakers still lost, 1114-108. If his first performance was a sign that even the greatest have off days, his second game was a demonstration of the power and durability, as well as ridiculous amounts of game, Kobe has left in his legs.

The Lakers are in trouble. At 10-11, they are in fourth place in their division and the third worse team in the Western Conference. Sure, they’ve played 19 of those games without Bryant, and having him back will be a major addition. However, in a Western Conference that is stacked this year, they don’t want to fall too far behind. As it stands now, a quick win streak would be enough to get them within range of the playoff picture. A few wins may also be enough to entice another big name, say, Carmelo Anthony, to come and possibly sign with the Lakers as well.

What the Lakers have in store for this year is still yet to be seen. However, with Kobe Bryant back on the team, they now become more of a threat. Kobe still has a while to go till he’s fully the Black Mamba again. But if anyone can get to that level again, it’s him.

Keep an eye on the Lakers to try and turn things around while the season is still young and Kobe can affirm himself still among the leagues elite.