Lakers head coach Byron Scott said Saturday that Kobe Bryant will be questionable to play on Sunday following Bryant’s shoulder injury that kept him out of Friday’s win against Philadelphia.
“He said it felt better but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Scott said. “From yesterday to today he said it felt a lot better. What that means, I don’t know yet.”
Scott added that he has not gotten any indication from Lakers head athletic trainer Gary Vitti that this is a longterm issue but rather another sign of the game taking its toll on Bryant.
“He hasn’t given me any concern that this is how it’s going to be the rest of the season,” Scott said. “I think this is one of those things that the wear and tear of playing for 20 years and the surgeries have taken a little bit of a toll on him.”
Kobe Bryant has played both ends of four back-to-backs this season. The first time he had a worse second game. But the opposite has been the case the past three times.
Bryant scored 20 points on 7 of 26 from the field in a Dec. 1 loss at Philadelphia in 32 minutes. The next night he scored 31 points on 10 of 24 shooting in win at Washington in 36 minutes.
He had five points and shot 2 of 15 in a Dec. 6 loss in 26 minutes at Detroit. He came back the next night and scored 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting in a loss at Toronto. He also had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes.
Bryant scored 12 points on on 5 of 12 shooting with six rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes in a loss at San Antonio on Friday. He scored 25 points on 9 of 16 from the field, pulled down seven rebounds, doled out six assists and made three steals in 31 minutes in a loss Saturday at Houston.
Coach Byron Scott was asked how Bryan, who is 37 and in his 20th season, could continually be better in the second half of a back-to-back.
“I don’t know how he does it,” Scott said Monday after practice. “I know somebody asked him about it and he doesn’t know how he’s doing it. But I always kind of just chalk it up to, that’s Kobe. He comes ready to play every night and I think the second night, though, he seems to have a better rhythm. He has a couple of days off or something like that and then you had that one game on Wednesday and play again Thursday, he gets into a little bit more of a rhythm and a flow. For whatever reason, the second night seems to be better, where you would think it would be the opposite.”
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015. (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)
The Lakers rank 29th out of 30 NBA teams in offensive efficiency and 28th in defensive efficiency. Other than that, everything has gone well for the Lakers.
“We don’t have chemistry problems. Our guys get along,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said after practice Friday at the team’s facility in El Segundo. “We just don’t trust each other on the floor.”
Scott then mentioned how the team has several ball-dominant players, including Bryant, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Lou Williams and Nick Young.
“Guys sometimes want the ball in their hands and they don’t trust making passes to other guys. We have to get to the point where the ball doesn’t stick and we find open guys,” Scott said. “When you have young guys that are so used to having the ball, getting rid of it is sometimes an issue. That’s what we’re trying to break.” Continue reading “Lakers’ Byron Scott: “We don’t trust each other on the floor”” »
HONOLULU — Nothing stood in Julius Randle’s way as he leaped toward the basket.
The Lakers’ forward had an open lane to throw down a thunderous dunk after D’Angelo Russell threw a no-look bounce pass. Randle felt fully comfortable bulldozing his way inside with his brute strength. And he no longer looked limited with a surgically repaired right leg that left him sidelined for nearly his entire rookie season.
But then Utah forward Trevor Booker fouled Randle from behind, sending the Lakers’ forward crashing down on the same leg that he injured nearly 11 months ago. Hence, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant could not leap out his seat fast enough to attend to Randle.
“You damn right I did,” Bryant said following the Lakers’ 90-71 preseason loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Stan Sheriff Center. “If I was fast enough to catch him, I would.”
The incident may have left the Lakers skittish. But it left Randle amused as he recalled thinking “nothing” as he took a fall that sparked gasps among the nearly partisan 10,300 watching in person and the countless purple and gold faithful observing around the world.
“I was fine,” Randle said. “I didn’t think I hurt myself or anything. I came down on my right leg, didn’t I? I think I came down on my right leg. I was more worried about getting back up.”
The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was cleared for practice earlier this month after tearing his rotator cuff in January. Hans Gutknecht ‑ Staff Photographer
Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. called Kobe Bryant’s mere presence in the room at the Lakers’ media day on Monday “electrifying.”
Bryant commanded the attention of a gym’s worth of reporters, and the 37-year-old was a primary topic of conversation in interviews with other Lakers players as well as he prepares for his 20th NBA season.
Bryant was cleared for practice earlier this month after suffering a right shoulder injury in January. His teammates haven’t seen him in action on the court yet, but they expressed nothing by confidence in Bryant.
Kobe Bryant participated in practice for the first time since Tuesday’s game against Phoenix where he logged a season-high 44 minutes. Byron Scott made it clear he extended his playing time due to the team only playing one game this week and would go back to more strict regulation of his playing time this week.
“We’ll probably go back to what we’ve been doing. In the next three games, he’s obviously not going to be playing 47 minutes,” Scott said.
The Lakers have four games this upcoming week, including a back-to-back road trip against Memphis and New Orleans.
Rarely has Kobe Bryant ever doubted himself about anything.
He knew he would ascend from a high school phenom to an NBA star. Bryant immediately envisioned winning multiple NBA championships. Only a season removed from treating two major injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee, Bryant believed his superior post moves would enable him to stay among the NBA’s elite.
But even Bryant surprised himself, beating Clippers forward Matt Barnes on a baseline drive and finishing with a reverse dunk.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” Bryant said following the Lakers’ 118-101 loss Friday to the Clippers in a designated home game at Staples Center. “I shocked the [heck] out of myself.”
Incidentally, not everything went according to script. Bryant’s 21 points came on 6-of-15 shooting, including a 1-of-7 fourth-quarter clip that entailed missing a potential game-tying three-pointer. Yet, Bryant’s throwdown dunk marked another step in the 36-year-old’s season-long quest to shed off rust after playing only six games last season.
“I am old. I feel strong though,” Bryant said. “I felt like myself. I didn’t know that was there. It was there.”