Lakers forward Ryan Kelly will play tonight against the Phoenix Suns after staying sidelined for the past month with overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings.
“I feel good. I’ll give it a go,” Kelly said following Tuesday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “Conditioning wise, I don’t know. We’ll find out I guess. Health wise I feel great. I’m ready to roll.”
Kelly participated in Tuesday’s shootaround and practiced for an hour of Monday’s practice that consisted of three-man weave and conditioning drills as well as games of three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five. Kelly sat out of the Lakers’ scrimmage that was open to the media toward the tail end of Monday’s practice.
This has marked a frustrating start for Kelly, who opened training camp with a strained left hamstring. He then injured his right hamstring during a morning shootaround drill two weeks ago.
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.
Against the Suns last week, the Lakers went only 4-of-13 from three-point range, while the Suns shot 16-of-32 from shots beyond the arc.
“He brings a different element as far as the fact that he can stretch the floor,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “We’ll have to wait and see. I’m anxious to see him play. I know how smart he is. He’ll be in the right places at the right time. That’s the one thing I like about it. He has picked the offense up pretty fast for somebody who hasn’t been able to do the offense a lot.”