Kobe Bryant will not play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday due to a sore shoulder.
This is unfortunate timing for Bryant, who’s been playing by far his best basketball of the season over the last two weeks. In the six games since a wretched 2-of-15 showing against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 6, the 20-year veteran averaged 18.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting a stellar 48.9 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from long range.
Bryant has done a better job getting his shots in the flow of the offense as opposed to jacking up contested three-pointers, which has led to a huge uptick in efficiency after his disastrous start.
Kobe played one of his best games of the season on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets. He scored 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting, and he put on a show in the third quarter, even throwing down a massive dunk over Clint Capela. (Maybe that caused the injury?)
Hopefully this injury isn’t something that lingers too long. Lakers head coach Byron Scott said the rarely-used Anthony Brown will get the start in Bryant’s place:
Anthony Brown will start in place of Kobe and will match up with Kevin Durant. Byron Scott: "I just hope he doesn't ask for his autograph."
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) December 19, 2015
That’s a pretty tough assignment for the rookie.