To Rest or Not To Rest, That Is The Question

Kurt —  November 15, 2009

Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game 1 NBA Western Conference finals in Los Angeles

If you have not seen the news, Kobe Bryant has a strained right groin, something he first got against New Orleans and aggravated in his poor shooting game against Houston.

Groin injuries, like hamstring injuries, can tend to linger. And it brings us to a philosophical question in dealing with these injuries during the season: Is it better to play through them or rest them?

Pau Gasol, who may return to practice with the team this week, has been slow and cautious, wanting things to be 100% and resting until he can get back to that level. Kobe Bryant just played through it, as he would injuries to his shooting hand that many would get surgery for, and the result was an off shooting night. He says he is not missing any games.

Honestly, I don’t know the answer and I’m not sure there is a one-size-fits-all answer. It should vary from player to player, injury to injury. But how it is dealt with impacts the Lakers early this season, and if it lingers it could impact the Lakers for a long time to come.


One note on the ugliness that was the loss to Houston. There were a lot of factors that went into the loss, but terrible outside shooting was at the top of the list. Houston is the second team in a row now to adjust and try to take away the Lakers low-post game with Kobe and Bynum by double teaming and working to deny entry passes. Doing that should lead to open looks from the perimeter, and the Lakers got them but did nothing with them. To borrow a Chickism, Fisher could not throw a pea in the ocean, but that did not stop him from thowing peas. There was a clamoring for others to take his minutes, but the combo of Farmar/Brown/Vujacic was 4 of 13 from the outside. Nobody was stepping up and making shots.

But that was just one of many problems for the Lakers last night.