DENVER — After Kobe Bryant nursed soreness in his right shoulder in recent days, Lakers Byron Scott said that Bryant is “definitely 100% ready to go” when the Lakers (3-24) play the Denver Nuggets (11-16) on Tuesday at Pepsi Center.
Scott reported that Bryant admitted on Monday night that his shoulder felt “a tad sore,” but the Lakers do no expect any lingering issues. Pain in Bryant’s right shoulder emerged both before and after he threw down a right-handed dunk last Thursday against Houston forward Clint Capela.
Bryant did not talk to reporters after morning shootaround. But Scott said that Bryant arrived “earlier than normal to get some shots up.”
Scott sounded aware of the fine line he wants Bryant to take in shedding off rustiness and ovoiding overuse. He has averaged only 16.7 points on 33.9 percent shooting, 4.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 30.8 minutes per game. But in his last six appearances, Bryant has averaged 18.83 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds and four assists in 29.33 minutes. During that stretch, Bryant has also taken fewer shots (14.66 compared to his season-average of 17.2). But Bryant also reporting feel less stiff.
“I trust him enough. And he knows me enough when I say don’t take too many [shots],” Scott said. Not 200, not 500. Take a few [shots] and see how it feels and come ready to play. I have no doubt he will.”