Has Bryant lost a step?TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley on Monday night attributed Kobe Bryant’s unusual ineffectiveness in this series to old age. Entering Game 5, Bryant was averaging 24 points, the lowest since the 2000 playoffs, and shooting just 38.4 percent, his lowest mark since his rookie year. "Kobe Bryant is an old basketball player,” Barkley said. "He’s one of the greatest basketball players ever. But once you’ve been playing as long as he has, you’re going to get banged up and you’re not going to have the same explosiveness. Now he’s against a (21)-year-old kid (Durant) who’s got some talent. "People are saying, ‘Kobe Bryant doesn’t explode like he used to.’ Of course he doesn’t. He’s been in the NBA for 13 or 14 years. He’s played in the Olympics and in the playoffs. He’s still a terrific player, but age takes its toll on everybody.” Before the game, Durant said he doesn’t understand why people insist that Bryant has lost a step. "He’s the greatest player in the game,” Durant said. "You can’t say that he’s lost a step. He’s the same Kobe from a while back. Maybe he’s not dunking on a lot of guys like he was back in ’01, ’02. But he’s still the same Kobe.”
Television scheduleIf Game 7 is necessary, it will be played at 2:30 p.m. CDT at the Staples Center. The game will be televised on ABC.