Bryant is confident the Lakers have what it takes to make the play-offs.
Despite a season scattered with inconsistency, in-house rumblings and out-of-form stars, Kobe Bryant believes that the Los Angeles Lakers will definitely make the play-offs.
According to Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated, Bryant said: “It’s not a question of if we make the play-offs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone – Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver – whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.”
Despite those big words from Bryant, the facts suggest otherwise as the Lakers currently sit outside the play-off spots in the Western Conference.
Problems off the court have overshadowed those on it too, despite a slight upturn in results, the Lakers still have both offensive and defensive issues for coach Mike D’Antoni to sort out.
However, it is difficult to really question Bryant’s confidence, as he is unlikely to admit defeat in the race for a spot in the post-season.
With 28 games remaining in the regular season, the Houston Rockets sit 3.5 games ahead of the Lakers in the West, and should Bryant and Co. be able to force that lead to diminish, the two meet in the season’s final game on April 17.
Aside from working on their shortcomings on the court, the Lakers will have to learn to get along too, and that means Bryant and Dwight Howard being the best of friends.
Bryant admitted during the interview with SI.com that he speaks to Howard all the time, pushing him all the time, but revealed he does it less so than when ‘D12′ first moved to LA.
However, in Jack McCallum’s report, when speaking to an NBA assistant coach last week, Howard was mentioned as being a bit of a “clown”, something that doesn’t go down well with a fiercely competitive Bryant.