From Ramneet Singh, Lakers Nation: Jordan Hill is making a name for himself in the league and the Los Angeles Lakers are relying on him to contribute on a nightly basis. In the Lakers’ game Sunday night against the Detroit Pistons, Hill scored a career high 24 points and grabbed a career high 17 rebounds. Hill has played well for the Lakers off the bench, but he never really got consistent minutes under Mike D’Antoni. However, the coach eventually saw just how effective the big man was and Hill responded in a big way as starter. After the 114-99 victory over the Pistons, Hill spoke to ESPN about the added confidence to his game.
From J.A. Adande, ESPN LA: With Kobe Bryant back on the practice court — even if his return isn’t exactly imminent — it’s time to start thinking about how this mix of Los Angeles Lakers will fit with him. We know, for instance, that Steve Blake won’t duplicate the 16 assists he had Sunday night against the Pistons; he wont have the ball that much. Jordan Hill can’t count on surpassing the career-high 24 points he had. But there’s no reason Hill can’t top the career-high 17 rebounds Sunday, especially if Kobe’s shot is off when he returns. And there’s no reason Nick Young can’t continue to provide scoring off the bench if he’s getting a good chunk of his minutes while Kobe is out of the game. The sequence is rarely as simple as “superstar returns from major injury, team plays great.” The Chicago Bulls could tell you that. The question is how quickly the Lakers can adapt to him. Because, as they’d say on “The Wire”: Kobe coming, yo.
From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: Kobe Bryant is going to play for the Lakers again pretty soon. We don’t know when, we don’t know how he will look as he gets back into game shape, but we know the return is imminent. We always knew that, though, but we’re officially closing in on a return date. He’s practicing with the team for the first time since his Achilles popped and the Lakers are 5-7 without him. Things are about to get complicated in Los Angeles. There are many angles to consider with the return of Kobe Bryant. Even if he’s 25 percent less effective and plays limited minutes early on it’s a given he will give the team a boost. Forget the nuances of defense and offense for a moment and consider that the Lakers are relying on Nick Young, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Jodie Meeks to handle small forward and shooting guard duties. They’ve done well. As Kanye would say, #NODISRESPECT, but they aren’t Kobe.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Kobe Bryant is back practicing with the Lakers (as of this past weekend), creating a lot of buzz around the team. However that doesn’t mean his return to the court is imminent. Kobe said previously it likely would be two to three weeks after he returned to practice that he could play again, but around the Lakers caution and vague timetables remain the order of the day. “He’s a presence, no doubt, and we need that presence, especially at the end of games,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said Sunday. “But we’ve got games to win and there’s going to be a bunch of them before he comes back. “ Still, his return begs another question: What will be the Lakers’ identity when he returns?
I’m looking forward to reading some “Kobe Alerts” from Robert in the very near future. I hope the recovery is going according to plan.
Apparently he’s medically cleared now, with no restrictions.
david h says
fork in the road comes to mind when i think of kobe’s comeback trail from his bout with achilles/tear injury.
kobe’s has had this time to think about his professional basketball mortality; has had the opportunity to see how the team has played thus far along into this regular season and due to recent events; his mind and body are now fully engaged toward the start of his comeback.
for me, the most interesting part about all this is exactly how will kobe evolve for the remainder of the season. will he take a backseat and defer to other players? will he be cautious out of the gate? will he share the ball with others? when the time comes; and it will; will he take the reins and lead the team to victories?
time of course will tell, i for one can hardly wait.
It’s an almost lock that he won’t play vs GS, but it would be amazing to see him return against the team he last played.
Honestly, I’m very surprised Kobe is this close to coming back. As far as the “team identity”, there is none. Ten (10) different players have started at least twice in the 1st dozen games. Only Gasol & Blake have started all 12.
Something to consider: the Lakers currently have three SG’s (Meeks, Young, & Henry), but only one SF (W. Johnson). Can a conclusion be drawn pertaining to Kobe’s position upon his return?
here´s to the return of the Kobe Alert!!!
Warren Wee Lim says
Big City Sid,
I am certain that Kobe will be a three when he comes back. Not only does that position require less ankle-breaking runs but also on offense is a much-wiser position to put him in ala Jordan when he played for the Wiz.
Kobe will be an in-betweener at the 2 and 3 when he comes back. If he’s really back he can be a tweener 1-2-3 even. But since we have 2 capable pace push guards in Blake and Farmar, Kobe will be situated where he is most comfortable… I don’t care who loses minutes.
Jodie Meeks has been playing really well. I tip my hat to him coz he put in work in the offseason.
Nick Young has more or less solidified himself the bench scorer role. This will be his role with or without Kobe.
Wesley Johnson has shown very good promise for my future team.
Savvy Henry will most-likely get the pine if/when Kobe returns. But he will see limited action and if he can produce, why not.
Casual Fan says
I know there shoudln’t be trade speculations, but does anyone think we may need to make a trade? We seem to have a lot of high-caliber role players, and a logjam at the backcourt, but it seems like since they are mostly on the minimal salary, they have little trade value?
Warren Wee Lim says
Now is the best season to make trades because everyone knows its a transition year. This is a season where losses due to adjustments can be forgiven. Add the fact that we are without our best player magnifies the need.
Just know though that it takes two to tango and in our case maybe 3 or 4 makes it score. It will be hard to find suitable partners coz you have to know what their motivations would be doing a trade. Upgrade, salary relief, etc. Add the fact that we are reluctant to add salary moving forward and we want to preserve our future cap space in 2014 and 2015, makes it even harder. Just know that Mitch is very notorious in finding great deals, that as much I can assure you of. He is not a lazy GM and he does find the gems.
I’m monitoring several teams to find out which teams would be motivated to deal.
Also, free agents that signed last July cannot be traded until Dec. 15th the earliest.
Manny P/Purple: Looking forward to writing some Kobe Alert’s as well. Hopefully it is soon and they will be packed with milestones and accomplishments. He has a number on the horizon.
Team: We are now 1-1 on this stretch of 5 to which I referred earlier. I said 3-2 was minimum and 4-1 was preferable for those hoping for playoffs. The GS game will be pivotal. This a decent, but not great team that we get at home after an extended rest. Again – ideal conditions. Then we have Sacramento and the Wiz and you basically have what I will call “scheduling wins”, since we often use the opposite term : )
We have no assets outside of expiring contracts to offer anyone so there is no chance that we get an impact player back in a trade as someone trading away a player of value will want to ensure longterm value is coming back unless we are trading someone to a contender who wont want to gut their possible championship team to get 1-2 solid guys that might take them over the hump.
Most likely if anything we may take on a contract to gain a few picks but outside of that I don’t see a big trade happening this year.
Robert: I don’t know if we can steal a win from Golden State. These guys are playing pretty good this season.
Zach Lowe on the Rockets:
Zack Lowe has long been the smartest NBA writer around. He is very rarley wrong. He is the Aaron for the national audience. He breaks down how far Dwight Howard’s athletisim has fallen since back surgery in a great grantland article.
“Watching film of the current Howard and the version from 2011 and before his back injury late in the 2012 season, is like watching film of two different human beings playing basketball.”
Great read and video here. But be warned – have a tissue handy.
Nice link rr and Aaron. I have to admit, once again, that Aaron was completely right about DH’s back injury, BUT he was also totally wrong about keeping Andrew Bynum who has been even more terrible.
How about the link inside that article about Harden’s defense-
He plays worse defense then an old Kobe Bryant! He also goes into hero mode as much or more…in short, Howard traded in the Lakers for the Rockets who may be younger and have more upside, but now he plays with a team that has 3 defensive liabilities in the wing positions and the 2 primary ball-handlers are shoot first. I love it.
Parrothead Phil says
@rr @Aaron and @MannyP thanks for the links to a couple of great articles
@KenOak Howard seems to finding out that karma is a b****
I never said we should keep Bynum. I just said we shouldn’t trade him for Dwight Howard. Also… At the time Bynum didn’t have a career altering injury… We already knew for a fact Howard had back surgery.
I need to to thank you for this great read!!
I certainly loved every little bit of
it. I have got you bookmarked
to look at new things you post…