The Los Angeles Lakers were short a couple bodies for Day 4 of training camp in Hawaii. D’Angelo Russell participated in approximately the first 15 minutes of practice, the non-competitive drills, dealing with both a bone bruise and a blister, but expects to be ready for practice tomorrow, as well as play in the Lakers first preseason game on Sunday.
Metta World Peace sat out of practice with a calf strain, which Byron Scott says has definitely limited him during training camp. Nick Young experienced back spasms at the end of practice, but Scott expects him to be fine for Saturday’s practice.
Kobe Bryant did not participate in the formal parts of practice and limited himself to shooting, for preventive reasons. Asked whether Bryant will play in the Lakers game against the Utah Jazz, Scott responded, “We’ll see.”
The Russell and Clarkson duo has received quite a bit of attention as of late, even Russell jokingly described their relationship as “Thing One” and “Thing Two,” a reference to Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. On a serious note, both agree that the differences in their game allow them to complement each other on the court.
“His mentality is more score, score and he has the gift to pass as well,” Russell said of Clarkson. “Mine is just more to pass, and I have the gift to score… We complement each other.”
Julius Randle has been looking stronger and more confident each day of practice and Scott says it’s Randle’s explosiveness that has really made a noticeable difference. Plus, on the offensive side of the ball, Scott says he has trust and comfort in Randle’s playmaking ability and ball-handling, and has given him the go-ahead to push the ball in transition, whenever possible.
Scott agreed with James Worthy that Randle has the ability to be an All-Star.
“His first step is about as quick as any power forward in this league right now,” Scott said of Randle. “It’s just about developing the rest of the game.”
The Lakers have another two-a-day practice scheduled for Saturday before their first preseason game kicks off on Sunday against the Utah Jazz.[divide]