Lakers coach Mike Brown left Staples Center suddenly for personal reasons, and Kobe Bryant sat out his fourth consecutive game last night while the rest of the Lakers suited up to take on the Denver Nuggets, their final meeting of the season. The Lakers came into the game 2-1 in the season series and have now beaten the Nuggets 98 times in the teams' head-to-head match-ups (52 wins for the Nuggets). The big winners last night, besides the Lakers, were Matt Barnes, who scored a season-high 24 points (on 9-11 shooting, 4-4 from 3) and Andrew Bynum who followed up his 30-rebound game against the Spurs with 30 points on 11-19 from the field. Metta World Peace also had another good game, scoring 14 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.
Ramon Sessions had a tough game, making only one shot but he got to the FT line six times (making five). He's still learning his way around the team and the system, and dealing with that shoulder injury, which took another hit in the Hornets game, but while he's learning, he's been a good floor general for this team.
Shortly after the Lakers’ loss to Phoenix, a few of the veterans pulled Ramon Sessions aside. They asked the young point guard to better control the tempo of the game, taking it slow at times but still be aggressive on the floor.
Sessions listened, which resulted in victories against New Orleans and San Antonio.
"It’s still a learning process," Sessions said before Friday’s game against Denver. "I just need to know when to pick my poison. The guys believe in me, they have me out there for a reason and so I need to know when to push it. when I can slow it down. (It’s knowing when to) pick your battles for the most part."
The Lakers are now 3-1 in Kobe's absence this season, but don't think for a moment that they don't need him. However, as long as they can keep playing the way they're playing without him, the better off they will be when he returns. At this point, there is no knowing when that will be. As a fan, I say take your time to heal. On the other hand, although you look good coaching your teammates, that's not where you should be. Hurry back, we miss watching you play.