From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Los Angeles: Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown said Wednesday night that Kobe Bryant’s foot injury might not be healed enough to play in Tuesday night’s season opener against the Dallas Mavericks. “I don’t know if he’ll be ready,” Brown said after the Lakers’ 97-91 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. “So yeah, I guess there is question. I’m just going to wait for [Lakers trainer] Gary Vitti to tell me he can play, because there’s nothing I can do about it until they release him anyway.”
From Mark Medina, LA Daily News: By peering outside his office window, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has an intimate view of the roster he recently constructed playing in the team’s practice facility. He can marvel at Dwight Howard throwing down a powerful dunk. Kupchak can admire Steve Nash running a revamped offense that includes elements of the Princeton system. Kupchak can see whether his upgraded bench will actually provide improved secondary scoring (Antawn Jamison), 3-point shooting (Jodie Meeks), energy (Jordan Hill) and length (Devin Ebanks). The sight usually appears visually pleasing, at least enough for Kupchak to say, “we have enough players to be in the hunt” for an NBA championship.
From Ryan Ward, Lakers Nation: The 2012-13 NBA regular season is only days away with the Los Angeles Lakers to set to get the ball rolling against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30. Unfortunately, it remains uncertain how many Lakers fans might actually get to watch these games in Los Angeles this season with Time Warner Cable SportsNet still unavailable on major networks like Cox Cable and DirecTV. With the start of the season less than a week away, Time Warner Cable Sports released the following statement about distribution of the channel dedicated to Lakers coverage.
From Brian Kamenetzky, ESPN Los Angeles: No Kobe Bryant, no Dwight Howard, no Chris Paul, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom, or Jamal Crawford. Fair to say much of the starch in Wednesday’s preseason battle between the Clippers and Lakers was removed long before the tip. Still, as you’d expect in any matchup between L.A.’s teams, it was a spirited 48 minutes. In the end, the Lakers kept their preseason winless streak intact, falling 97-91. They now have one more shot at avoiding a winless slate of pretend games, Thursday night in San Diego against Sacramento. Here are four takeaways:
From Tom Hoffarth, LA Daily News: Magic Johnson laughed Wednesday when asked if he feels he has been put into a position of talking Lakers’ fans off the ledge over their frustrations resulting from the absence of a wider Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes distribution. The Basketball Hall of Famer, who will continue to work for ESPN and ABC as an NBA studio analyst, offered his reassurance that he believes something will get done with deals involving DirecTV, Dish, Charter, Cox, Verizon FiOS and AT&T Uverse leading up to the Lakers’ regular-season opener next week.
From Baxter Holmes, Los Angeles Times: Unlucky number seven? That’s how many games the Lakers have lost this preseason — in other words, all of them, the latest a 97-91 defeat by the Clippers at Staples Center on Wednesday. Of course, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard didn’t play for the Lakers. But Chris Paul didn’t play for the Clippers. The Lakers are 0-7 this preseason, their worst such record ever, and the team wraps up exhibition play Thursday against Sacramento in San Diego.
From Janis Carr, OC Register: The double black eyes ruined his “GQ look” but not Robert Sacre’s ability to fill in at center for the Lakers on Wednesday in an exhibition game against the Clippers. Sacre, starting again in place of Dwight Howard, scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in the Lakers’ 97-91 loss to their cross-town rivals. Pau Gasol helped pick up the slack left by Howard’s absence with a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Lakers fell to 0-7 in the preseason.