Head coach Byron Scott didn’t hold anything back in the first week of training camp for the Los Angeles Lakers. Scott has emphasized defense and conditioning during his practices and it already seems to be paying off.
The Lakers looked reborn in their preseason debut on Monday with superstar Kobe Bryant seemingly back to form in his first game back in almost 10 months. Although it was a close game against the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers didn’t back down defensively and were clearly well conditioned.
Kobe talked about the team’s conditioning after the game saying the following, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Kobe after the game: "We're not even close to being tired because we've done so much conditioning – we feel like we could run all day."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 7, 2014
With the team in great shape while having to be accountable defensively under Coach Scott, the Lakers are a completely different squad in terms of direction in comparison to last season. Scott has his players motivated with Kobe buying into what he’s selling and it could ultimately result in Los Angeles being much better than expected in the regular season.
Along with Kobe chipping in with 13 points in his return to the floor, Steve Nash also played well finishing with 11 points and five assists. Both veterans played limited minutes with Kobe logging 21 and Nash playing 20. And fortunately, neither player complained about any injury issues after the game.
If these future Hall of Famers are able to stay healthy and produce at a high level this season, the Lakers could quickly turn into a playoff team in the Western Conference. If last night’s performance is any indication, Los Angeles may be a deeper team that anticipated with Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Jeremy Lin and Ed Davis playing well in their first game in purple and gold while all bringing some different to the table.[divide]
Kobe Bryant After His First Game Back