Watch Slick Oop from Kobe Bryant to Dwight Howard

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For most NBA franchises, a 16-21 start would extinguish any lingering postseason flames.

But the Los Angeles Lakers aren't most NBA franchises. Most NBA franchises don't have Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard at their disposal, after all.

During Tuesday night's tilt with the Milwaukee Bucks, Bryant and Howard did more to cement their relationship than any mock locker room battle could (via the Los Angeles Times.)

They took to the skies (as both have been known to do a time or two in their careers) to showcase just what kind of powerful tandem the two could be forming in Lala land:

Bryant rediscovered the prolific passing ability he displayed early in the season, when the team was left scrambling to find a distributor to replace then-injured Steve Nash and still-injured Steve Blake. Through his first 12 minutes of action, Bryant tallied more assists (five) than field goal attempts (four).

And Superman responded with a perfect 4-of-4 shooting performance from the field to open the night.

Throughout the early stages of this season, Howard appeared to bear the lingering effects of his April 2012 back surgery. But since an accelerated return from what was thought to be a torn labrum in his shoulder, Howard has looked as healthy as he ever has in the purple and gold:

Maybe some retro play from Bryant spurred Howard's resurgence:

Of course, not everyone's a believer in Bryant the distributor:

He did after all enter Tuesday's game with a league-high 21.9 field goal attempts per game.

Analysts may have long since written off the postseason hopes of the Lakers, but the fellow Western Conference playoff hopefuls think they're right in being optimistic about their playoff chances.

No matter their early struggles, there isn't a team in the conference that wants to see a postseason matchup with the talent-rich Lakers.

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