Kobe Bryant (rest) and Ed Davis (broken nose) both sat out of Lakers practice on Wednesday. Davis, who had his nose set back in place Wednesday morning, is hoping he can practice on Thursday and play on Friday with a mask protecting his nose.
Ryan Kelly once again practiced in full today and Scott hopes that after another full day of practice Thursday and shootaround on Friday, Kelly will be available for Friday’s game.
Bryant played an impressive and balanced game in the Lakers win over the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night. At 36 years old, Bryant raked in his 21st triple-double, with 23 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. After the past two games, Bryant’s ability to make great basketball plays and get his teammates involved has been praised amongst his teammates. But, Lakers head coach Byron Scott does not think we’re seeing a new Kobe Bryant.
This is not a new Kobe. It’s just an old Kobe doing the same old things he’s been doing.”
Bryant told the media last night that he’s used his time off to not only rest, but also reflect. Bryant said he recognizes that he needs to “evolve” his game and focus on “setting up guys,” being more a “point-two” guard.
Scott said he has not talked much with Bryant about specifically evolving his game, though they did have a conversation about the point guard position about a week ago. Scott said he mostly leaves that all up to Bryant:
“To be honest with you, a lot of it I kind of leave up to Kobe because I know on the floor he sees everything that’s kind of going on, and he has a different mindset on the floor than I do,” Scott said after practice. “Great players especially, you ask them when they’re coming off the floor, and during timeouts, what do they see, what is going on out there?”
Scott also said he’s not sure how much of Bryant’s game can actually evolve “because of how great he’s been.” Bryant, though, sounds like he’s setting himself up for another challenge. Last night, he said it’s time for him to “perfect another area.”
New Laker Tarik Black also scrimmaged at Lakers practice today and Scott said he really liked his communication and athleticism. Scott, along with the other Lakers assistants, stayed after practice with Black to go over offensive sets.
The Lakers will practice New Years Day before playing Memphis at Staples Center on Friday.[divide]
VIDEO: Ed Davis Suffers Broken Nose