Kobe Bryant returns tonight

The day that all basketball fans have been waiting, not just Lakers fans, is here. Eight months after tearing his Achilles’, Kobe Bryant will return when the Lakers host the Raptors.

Pay per head services saw how Kobe returned to practice almost three weeks ago and he is 100 percent ready to go but Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni wants to be cautious and will manage his minutes. “I think he’ll be limited by his wind and ability to take the pounding. So I would be surprised if more than in the 20s. It shouldn’t be any more than that.”

The Lakers had a slow start but they have won six of their last eight games and hope that the chemistry developed without Bryant will continue once their star returns. Many Laker players will have to adjust with Kobe Bryant back on the court, including Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry, who stepped up in Kobe’s absence.

It won’t be an easy game for the Lakers because the Raptors have lost five in a row and will look to spoil the party at Staples Center. The Lakers have to find a way to contain Kyle Lowry, who is averaging 19.4 points and seven assists during the five-game skid and be careful with DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay, who average 21.3 points and 19.4 points respectively.

The Raptors have lost their last 10 games at Staples Center dating back to a victory on December 28, 2001.