The Los Angeles Lakers have now lost two games in a row at home since the return of Kobe Bryant. Along with trying to shake off the rust in the first two games back, Bryant has been trying to work himself back into game shape while still dealing with a few injury issues.
Following the loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, Pau Gasol spoke to the media saying the following about Bryant’s return and recovery:
“I think it’s a work in progress. We have to stay on it and make sure we continue to make things happen for ourselves and for our teammates.”
Although Bryant showed a considerable boost in point production with 20 points, more than doubling his debut total (9), and limited the turnovers to three in comparison to eight, the perennial All-Star is still not himself and will need more time to work back to the elite level of old. It may take quite sometime for Bryant to get back to form as he attempts to do with what few players have been able to in the NBA at the age of 35.
As for Gasol, the ankle issues seem to still be bothering the four-time All-Star as he’s also struggled as of late. Gasol had a solid performance against the Suns on Tuesday with 19 points to go along with five rebounds, but became a liability defensively with Phoenix scoring 56 points in the paint.
Following two disappointing losses at home, the Lakers will embark on a four-game road trip this week. Gasol and company will face the Oklahoma City Thunder, Charlotte Bobcats, Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies before returning home to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 20.
Lakers Practice: Pau Gasol On Kobe’s Return, His Injuries