The Los Angeles Lakers were back on the practice floor on Thursday morning, after their 112-93 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Although Larry Nance Jr. attempted to get up and down the practice floor, head coach Byron Scott said the knee was clearly still bothering him, and he is doubtful for tomorrow’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. Scott gave Kobe Bryant the day off to rest, but expects him to be available, despite playing over 31 minutes last night.
Scott said his team went back to the basics at today’s practice, specifically working on defensive rebounding and getting back in transition, referencing two key offensive rebounds the Lakers gave up last night at the free throw line. Fast break points were a big area of concern for the Lakers, after giving up 26 points to the Kings.
The Lakers will face a much tougher opponent on Friday night as Gregg Popovich and his San Antonio Spurs come into town. With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginboli, and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs will likely be contending for another title this year.
“They (Spurs) share the ball better than anybody in this league,” Scott said on Thursday. “Offensively, they don’t have any weaknesses. And defensively, they’re one of the best defensive teams in this league.”
The Spurs were the winners of the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes this past summer, though the Lakers pushed hard for the talented forward in free agency. Aldridge has averaged 16.1 points and 9.0 rebounds a game since signing with the Spurs and has added another dimension to this Spurs squad.
“He seems to be fitting in perfectly,” Scott said of Aldridge. “They haven’t lost a beat when they added him. They’ve gotten much better.”
It’s going to be a difficult matchup for the Lakers who currently stand at just 9-35, especially with Leonard, who as Scott noted is playing at an “All-Star caliber level.”
“Pick you poison,” Scott said about matching up with the Spurs. “Whatever you want to take away, they’re going to kill you with the opposite.”
Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM PST at Staples Center.