With the win, the Lakers did hang onto the steering wheel on the drive to the eighth seed in the Western Conference, but the positives weren't able to outweigh the negatives after the most recent injury for Los Angeles.
The Lakers have watched as Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace have all gone out for extended periods of time, but there's something jarring about a long-term injury striking down Bryant.
He's always been the rock, the constant anchor of this team capable of holding them steady in troubled waters when it looks like they could sink. Now the anchor has torn free from the ship, and there's no telling what happens from here on out.
While there's still a lot of focus left on the job at hand, making the playoffs and seeing what can happen beyond, there's got to be some time to think about the future as soon as possible.
As of right now, Kobe's recovery time is deemed to be six-to-nine months, which could put the Lakers in a very interesting place this summer.
Vitti says its a 6-9 month timetable for @kobebryant’s recovery. Asked if that means he’s back for next season, “that’s the plan.”— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 13, 2013
With that question comes a ton of additional questions.
We've got to take a look at what's going on this summer, how the roster could change and the likelihood that each presumed starter will be around next season.