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Players To Watch: Western Conference
Kobe Bryant<P>L.A. Lakers
5 of 9
Kobe Bryant

L.A. Lakers

The expectations for the Lakers' season are low, but Bryant could make believers out of the skeptics with an MVP-type season. Phil Jackson thinks it's possible, and has been pleased with a "mature" Bryant. Still, Bryant has missed at least 16 games in each of the last two seasons, so health will be key to Bryant's, and the Lakers' season.
Text: Drew Packham/
Photo: Bill Frakes/SI