Tomorrow’s notebook today …
Some, but not all of the Lakers’ offseason changes will be on display Sunday night in Fresno when they play the first of eight exhibition games. After five days of training camp, the Lakers will reveal something of themselves against the Golden State Warriors.
The results won’t matter all that much while the Lakers make their annual October barnstorming tour of California and Nevada. Coach Mike Brown said the other day he didn’t really care if the Lakers win or lose their exhibitions.
It’s all just a warmup for the regular-season opener Oct. 30 against Dallas.
“It’s always a work in progress,” Brown said of training camp.
Perhaps the biggest work in progress is new center Dwight Howard, who was ruled out of tonight’s game after undergoing back surgery in April. Howard has participated in most of the Lakers’ drills and scrimmages, but he’s not ready to play.
“I couldn’t tell you what he hasn’t done,” Brown said. “Every time I look up he’s in the drills, whether it’s contact or not. … I don’t have a rule where a guy has to play X amount of games before he can play in the opener.
“He can play in one (exhibition) game and still play (in the opener). He may not play at all (in the exhibitions) and still play in the opener. … The biggest thing for me is as long as he’s had a practice beforehand, then he can play.”
Kobe Bryant’s status for tonight’s game was somewhat in doubt after he skipped two practices Friday after suffering from mild soreness in his right foot, but he joined his teammates for Saturday’s workout. Officially, his status was listed as day to day.
Bryant sat out seven games because of a shin injury and didn’t play in the regular-season finale in order to rest last season. He also didn’t play in nine games in 2009-10 because of various ankle, knee and index finger injuries.
Otherwise, he has had perfect participation over the last five seasons.
Even without Howard and with Brown monitoring Bryant’s right foot, the Lakers will have a new look tonight. Steve Nash will make his debut in purple and gold, as will Chris Duhon, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks.
The Lakers will show off their version of the Princeton offense, a free-flowing scheme that keeps everyone on floor on the move and doesn’t require Bryant or Nash to have the ball in his hands the majority of the time.
“I felt we needed more movement, more options,” Brown said of selecting the Princeton offense. “It’s just hard to guard. Unless you have a good understanding of what you’re trying to do defensively, it can be impossible to guard.
“With this team’s intelligence, with the way this team is capable of passing the ball, I just felt it would fit with the group of guys we have. At times we were stagnant (last season). This should help out a lot, but the bodies still have to move.”
–Sharpshooter sets standard
Steve Blake made 22 consecutive shots from beyond the 3-point arc during an informal workout several days before training camp, a feat noted on a white board in the gym. It’s going to stay up there until someone breaks it, according to the coaching staff.
Nash nodded approvingly when asked about the note on the board. It seemed only a matter of time before one Steve threatened the mark of another. In fact, Brown initially believed it was Nash who made 22 in a row, rather than Blake.
So, let the long-distance competition begin.