By Tony Ciniglio
Los Angeles Daily News
Lakers coach Byron Scott joked after Tuesday’s ugly loss to the Miami Heat that he might need a bottle of vodka nearby if he watched the game film.
Scott admitted Wednesday that he sometimes loses sleep trying to figure out Continue reading
By Robert Morales
(On sitting out these games when he wants to play so badly):
“I mean, it’s hard, but it is what it is. It’s not something im going to be whining and complaining about.”
(what do you have to do different?)
“Just get my body loose and be more active throughout the game and get my legs used to playing again.”
What have you learned about yourself through this:
“Patience, A LOT of patience. I’m comfortable with how I’m playing. I see how to pick my spots, so the game looks a lot different. I’m comfortable with where I am. I’ll get my legs a little more lively and that just comes from playing aft3er having so much time off.”
Does it still kills you to sit?
“Well, of course…I’m trying to be calm, to be patient.”
What do you do when you’re not playing?
“Stretch, rest, watch the game with my family. It’s great spending time with my family, but playing games is always fun, especially for the fans.”
Kobe Bryant/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Lakers, NBA.com
Considering the Miami Heat bolted to an 18-0 lead over the Lakers on Tuesday night at Staples Center, the Lakers did well to trail by just 10 points (44-34) at the halftime break.
Kobe Bryant is playing after resting the previous two games and three of the past four. He scored six points with four rebounds and four assists in the half, but he shot just 1 of 9 from the field.
Overall, the Lakers shot 25.5 percent (12 of 47) and just 11.1 percent (1 of 9) from 3-point range.
Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 11 first-half points.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant won’t participate in many shootarounds if at all moving forward. (File photo/Daily News)
After missing three of the past four games to rest his 36-year-old body, Kobe Bryant will play when the Lakers (12-26) host the Miami Heat (16-21) on Tuesday at Staples Center.
Lakers coach Byron Scott said he felt more secure about Bryant’s health after having numerous conservations with the Lakers’ star on Monday as well as Tuesday morning and afternoon.
“He was pretty convincing as far as he is ready to go, body wise and mind wise and everything,” Scott said. “It wasn’t that hard of a decision.”
Lakers star Kobe Bryant, left, who hasn’t played since a 114-89 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday, practiced Monday and could play Tuesday against the Miami Heat at Staples Center. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)
Amid all the unanswered questions surrounding Kobe Bryant’s health or even if he will play in tonight’s game against the Miami Heat at Staples Center, the Lakers seem intent on one thing.
The Lakers currently have not discussed yet the possibility of sitting Bryant for the rest of the 2014-15 season.
“This is going to be game-by-game and will be that way until the end of the season,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said after Tuesday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “If we ever decide to shut it down for the rest of the season, we haven’t gotten near that point at this particular point of time. We continue to go day-by-day.
”The Lakers’ Nick Young #0 drives to the hoop as the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic #9 defends during their NBA game at the Staples Center Friday, January 9, 2015. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)”
Never has Lakers forward Nick Young ever seen a shot he does not like. Never has he taken a shot he felt unsure would drop into the basket.
But with entering Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat (16-21) at Staples Center averaging 12.4 points on only 25 percent shooting in the past five games, Young spent part of Monday’s practice consulting with both Lakers coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant on how to overcome his recent struggles.
In what he described as a “big slump,” Scott repeated criticisms in recent days to Young about both expanding his game and showing a more serious approach during his shooting drills. Scott also emphasized “you don’t live and die on every shot.”
“I needed Coach to talk to me today. Everybody needs somebody sometime,” Young said. I feel all right and feel more confident. My teammates are talking to me.”
That mostly included Bryant, who did not speak to reporters after participating in the first 90 minutes of Monday’s two-hour practice. Bryant has experienced plenty of shooting slumps during his 19-year career. This season alone, he has averaged 23 points on a career-low 37.5 percent shooting.
“He’s teaching me ways to get open and hit teammates,” Young said. “If you pass the ball and they knock down a couple shots, they can’t double team you anymore.”
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks on from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, December 26, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Bryant was sitting out his third straight game to rest his sore body but could be back in the lineup when the Lakers return home for their next outing. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
After sitting out for three of the past four games, Kobe Bryant seemed rested enough that he participated in 90 minutes of the Lakers’ two-hour practice on Monday that entailed light shooting and half-court drills.
“He looked more focused,” Lakers forward Nick Young said of Bryant.
But will that prove enough for Bryant to return when the Lakers (12-26) host the Miami Heat (16-21) at Staples Center? Lakers coach Byron Scott said he will “pencil” Bryant in, but will not make a final decision until he sees the how 36-year-old feels following both morning shootaround and shortly before tipoff.
After all, Scott has delivered a mea culpa for the past two days on how he handled Bryant’s minutes.
“You try to move away from it and forget about it,” Scott said. “But it’s hard to do when you have a guy you care about so much and you think you kind of messed up. I think I played him too much early.”
“MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)”
Amid Kobe Bryant’s struggles fighting Father Time and the Lakers’ struggles in just collecting wins, there remains at least one source of good news.
Both the Lakers and Kobe Bryant rank fourth overall in NBA jersey sales, the league announced on Monday. The top spots went to Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors finished ahead of the Lakers.
The Clippers finished 10th overall, the most notable jersey sales going to Blake Griffin (10th) and Chris Paul (12th).
Bryant-less Lakers had no answer for Lillard, lose to Portland, 106-94
Lakers’ Byron Scott concedes he mismanaged Kobe Bryant’s minutes
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at email@example.com
“Lakers Nick Young fouls PortlandÕs Wesley Matthews during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, January 11, 2015. Portland defeated the Lakers 106-94. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) “
He stood tall and proud by his locker stall, Nick Young appearing in ecstasy after reliving a game-winning shot that made the Lakers’ gregarious forward boast proudly about his abilities.
“They call me ‘I.D.M.’ I don’t miss,” Young proclaimed after hitting a game-winner against San Antonio last month.
Young will not need to change the acronym. But he might need to change the meaning. The Lakers’ 106-94 loss on Sunday to the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center featured Young posting only nine points on 3-of-11 shooting, completing a 15-game stretch where he has shot a combined 59-of-173 from the field ever since changing his nickname.
“I have to stop thinking so much and play my game and go out there and have fun,” Young said. “My energy, no matter what, I have to keep my energy high and continue to play the way I’ve been playing.”
But Lakers coach Byron Scott wants something different.
As Young continues to struggle in entertaining the Lakers with high-volume scoring, Scott plans to stress to Young during Monday’s practice by using this time to round out the other parts of his game.
“He has to be able to do other things on the court,” Scott said. “When his shot is not falling, you have to rebound. You have to do other things to get yourself involved. Every shot he misses is the end of the world right now to him. You have to get away from that and keep playing hard and do other things to help the team to get better.”