Amid their worst start in 57 years, the Lakers finally received a rare dose of good news.
Lakers forward Ryan Kelly could play Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center after staying sidelined since training camp with overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings. Kelly practiced for about an hour on Monday, which he said consisted of three-man weave and running drills as well as games of three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five. Kelly did not play during the Lakers’ scrimmage that was open to the media that was open toward the tail end of Monday’s practice.
“I had to get the wind back a little bit and it’ll take some time,” Kelly said. “I’ll see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.”
The Lakers could use all the help they can get after opening the 2014-15 season with a league-worst four consecutive losses, including to the Suns (2-1).
Kelly’s return would likely enhance the team’s three-point shooting, which currently ranks 16th out of 30 NBA teams with a 31.6 percent clip. Kelly averaged eight points on 33.8 percent shooting his rookie season with the Lakers, his floor spacing as a so-called stretch forward proving a good fit under former coach Mike D’Antoni.
“I think that’s something I can do in spreading the floor,” Kelly said. “I can be helpful there. I’m unique in that way.”
Kelly stayed sidelined for mostly all of the Lakers’ training camp after injuring his left hamstring on the first practice. Two weeks ago, Kelly then injured his right hamstring in morning shootaround just when he believed he would return the lineup.
Lakers coach Byron Scott said Kelly “looked okay,” noting that he missed out on the team’s full contact scrimmage that was open to the media.