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Kobe Bryant: Progress Report On His Knee

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives with the ball against Kevin Martin #12 of the Houston Rockets during their opening night game at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Mathew DavisContributor INovember 2, 2010

Kobe Bryant's knee seems to be holding up just fine.

After a potentially worrisome preseason in which he shot just under 30 percent, Kobe's at a much more respectable 45 percent mark and looks to have a healthy bounce in his step.

He's also been more of a facilitator, averaging only 18 shots per game.

After the Lakers beat the Warriors on Sunday, he declared his knee was at 100 percent. Adding later, when questioned by reporters about his statement:

"Yes, so leave me the hell alone about my [expletive] knee."

It's understandable that Bryant is frustrated with the constant inquiries regarding the status of his knee. I can't help but think, however, that he only said he was at 100 percent in the hopes of quelling similar questions in the future.

There are a couple noticeable weaknesses in his game. He's slow to shuffle his feet on defense and there's a reluctance to penetrate. But he's managed to cover them up nicely and his teammates have done a great job of picking him up.

Gasol was named Western Conference player of the week and Lamar Odom is filling in nicely while Bynum remains sidelined, averaging 16 points and 13.7 rebounds.  

Hopefully in the next month he'll have built up enough strength in his legs that it won't be a problem when the Lakers start facing tougher competition. Luckily, they have one of the weaker schedules to open the regular season, so he should have plenty of time ease into it.

We probably won't see any 81-point games anytime soon, but as long as the Lakers keep winning, I don't think Kobe or his fans will mind.  

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