The Lakers were on day five of training camp Wednesday, and the media was buzzing around like the Lakers were gearing up for playoffs. Well, with the exception that the Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant wasn’t available to the media. Bryant, though, has been on the sidelines during practice, while the Lakers have been partaking in two-a-days. Lakers guard Nick Young said Bryant’s been telling him to improve his dribbling going left and head coach Mike D’Antoni said that he saw Bryant shoot for the first time.
“I saw him shoot the ball today for the first time, I don’t know if it’s his first time but it’s the first time I saw him so that’s a progression…I think he was on his tip-toes, I mean he wasn’t jumping, but he wasn’t flat-footed.” – Mike D’Antoni
D’Antoni also said this morning’s practice involved a lot of contact. Lakers center Pau Gasol said his progression has been coming along better than expected, but he needs to work on his turnovers in practice. There was also an overall feeling that no roster spots are set in stone.
“There’s definitely competition. Guys are playing hard, right now nothing’s set in stone couple spots with the lineup can change, we know Mike likes to make changes during the season sometimes you have a guy play in 10 games and that guy won’t play for another 10 games and we’ll will be wondering why, but so far people are in good spirits playing hard…”
The Lakers heard coach also reiterated that he’s not necessarily looking at who’s filling roster spots at the moment, commenting that all the guys on the roster have the ability to start. So, what’s going to be the difference maker in training camp for who nabs the final roster spots? Chemistry.
“The biggest thing is in the exhibition season, will be to watch their interactions with other players. They’re all very good players and they all can start, it’s not going to be that, just [going to be about] a better fit with different players.”
D’Antoni did say that he won’t be experimenting with Young at the four, Young will be primarily at the two and three, but said Wesley Johnson definitely has the ability to fill in at the four. Coach sure seems to be enjoying his first real training camp with the Lakers. He currently has 19 players to work with, once the regular season comes around he’ll be looking to trim, at minimum, four guys off the roster. The Lakers first preseason game is this Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.
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