Mavericks center Brendan Haywood tries to keep Lakers center Andrew Bynum… (Paul Buck / EPA / April 15,…)
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan mentions how the Lakers are 4-1 without Kobe Bryant, earning them a day off on Monday.
--The Times' T.J. Simers praises, in his tongue-in-cheek way, how Bryant has coached the team from the sideline.
--The Times' Baxter Holmes explains how NBA players have adjusted to a lack of sleep during a lockout shortened season.
--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding lauds Bryant's coaching.
--The Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko rips Lakers announcer Lawrence Tanter for not addressing the Dallas Mavericks Sunday as the reigning NBA champions.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne takes a deeper look at Andrew Bynum's mixed progression in his game and behavior.
--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford writes that Bryant wants to return before the playoffs.
Tweet of the Day: Basketball fans shouldn't be surprised if it were vs. in the Western Conference finals this year. -- MagicJohnson (Lakers legend Magic Johnson).
Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I'm beginning to think that this period with Kobe as Player Coach on the sidelines is the most important time of the year. It will determine how deep we'll go and if we reach the Finals, and possibly the Championship.
The team is gaining confidence without Kobe. This is better than good. It's great. Mike Brown doesn't inspire confidence as far as I'm concerned, but he's positive and has a lot of energy... which are good things.
I think we should embrace this period of Kobe as Player Coach... especially now that we see Ron Artest and Sessions step up so much. I'm truly impressed. Delighted, even." -- Jon K