Practice Report: Kobe Bryant Concerned About Blake’s Absence
It’s no secret that the Lakers aren’t exactly the hottest team in the league. Their struggle in the Western Conference has however, been a hot topic of conversation. As a matter of fact with a record under .500 (8-9), the star-studded roster is currently just third in the Pacific Division (behind the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors).
Much of the Lakers’ struggles can be attributed to the fact that the Lakers truly haven’t had any time at all to make progress and adjustments with a full roster. The list of injuries that have plagued the Lakers organization seems almost unreal: Dwight’s back, Kobe’s foot, Jordan Hill’s back, Steve Nash’s leg fracture, Gasol’s knee tendinitis, Steve Blake’s abdominal strain. Then, with the news today that Blake will undergo laparoscopic surgery this Wednesday to repair a torn abdominal muscle, it seemed as though the bad just got a little bit worse. And at practice today, Kobe Bryant clearly expressed his concern.
“It’s a big concern for me. Steve and I have always played extremely well together. He’s a clutch shooter, and he’s a tough competitor and that’s one of the things I like about him is his toughness.”
Bryant has already been handling the ball and playing off more pick-n-roll’s than he ever has. As Bryant made impeccably clear after their loss to the Orlando Magic last night, the franchise superstar is able to adjust to any situation. But, week after week the Black Mamba has mentioned how much he’s looking forward to the return of the Steves, not only for the team as a whole but also for the betterment of his own game. Steve Nash’s timetable is still up in the air, and Kobe Bryant isn’t expecting Steve Blake to be back any time soon.
“I’m not sure how long he’s going to be out but I’m assuming its going to be awhile.”
With Blake likely to miss a minimum of six to eight weeks, expect to get used to a lot of Darius Morris. The second year is averaging a little over 22 minutes per game and just 5.9 points this season. Although Morris has had some big shoes to fill, at 2.5, his assists per game average is a bit concerning for a point guard.
VIDEO: Check out Kobe Bryant voicing his concerns at practice today
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