L.A. Lakers Survival Guide to Stay Afloat Until Kobe Bryant's Return
Meanwhile, the questions just won’t stop. On Friday, Kobe Bryant informed the usual media horde that he was back to running and pushing hard. According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Mamba got just a little testy at the continuing timetable requests.
“This is turning into a press conference. I just wanted to get my weekly thing out of the way,” he said.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN Lakers, tweeted about Bryant’s progress as well:
Kobe just told us he has been able to sprint again as he ramps up his training.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 2, 2013
In the meantime, there are games to be played. Here then, a short and sweet survival guide, just to get us through these harsh times:
Put Jordan Hill in the Game, Please
Jordan Hill brings athleticism and energy to the game. During the Lakers’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs on November 1, however, Hill was bench-bound until the final quarter. Coach D’Antoni says he’ll give him more of a look.
That would be a good thing, especially considering that the former No. 8 overall draft pick put up five points, four boards and an assist in short minutes.
Bring Us the Beast, Meeks
Jodie Meeks has always been known as a shooter, not a dribble-driver. That's changed considerably. Per Ben Rosales at Silver Screen and Roll, Meeks put a lot of time in over the summer, channeling his inner beast:
Meeks clearly spent the offseason doing nothing but practicing his handle and driving at the rim since his slashing ability is leagues better than last year, when essentially every possession in which he put the ball on the floor was a huge waste. He now has displayed a pretty decent finishing ability at the rim and even broke out a floater for one of his scores. As part of a high tempo bench, he has put these newfound skills to good use in transition and as a secondary creator on the wing.
Bring the Man a Rocking Chair
Steve Nash is old and getting older before our eyes. Against the Spurs on November 1, he shot 1-of-8. Steve Blake wasn’t much better at 2-of-12, and we need more Jordan Farmar. Nash may be old, but he’s no dummy—even he knows the value of youth.
From Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding comes this:
Even as Nash hopes to feel steadier soon, he knows Farmar, about to turn 27, is potent enough to beat him out.
"Hopefully I can play at a better rate at some point in the near future," Nash said. Then he added the following without any reporter solicitation: "But also you're going to see Jordan really come alive and play more consistently and give is a real player who can help the team."
Honorable Mention—Get Back to the Post, Pau
Pau Gasol led all Lakers’ scorers against the Spurs on November 1 with 20 points and 11 boards. That’s awesome.
What’s with all the perimeter bombs, though? Wasn’t D’Antoni supposed to feature Pau down low this year? It's clear that the Lakers need a better post presence, as well as some physicality on the defensive end. Can Pau be an alpha dog in Kobe's absence? Get back where you belong, big man.
Nobody knows when Kobe will be back or what that will look like. The Lakers are a team in transition this year—that much seems apparent. For now, we need a little more bench mob, a little more of the Bad News Bears.
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