Update 3:53 pm Okay, I am done predicting when Kobe will be back.
When asked at Lakers practice today, Bryant said he would not be playing against the Celtics on Thursday night. He said the ankle and tendon were not ready, but that he could change his mind tomorrow depending on how it feels.
11:35 am Yes, you saw the “Kobe will be back next game” headline yesterday. But this time we really mean it.
He was good enough to practice Monday but the ankle didn’t respond well so he didn’t go Tuesday. But that was against a Monta-less Golden State Warriors team. Thursday night it is national television against the Celtics. Different motivation factors there.
“I’m sure he wants to be (ready to face the Celtics),” Jackson said. “I’m sure he’s making every attempt to be. He’s doing therapy; he’s almost doing therapy too much in the process of trying to get this thing better. I think he’ll give it a try and we’ll see how it is on Thursday.”
After Thursday’s game, the Lakers are off again for four days, until the following Tuesday. That’s a lot of time to rest up, and another reason for Kobe to go. As if he needed another reason besides the Celtics
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
Buddy Hield: Vivek Ranadive told me at Kings-Pelicans games, ‘We’re still going to get you’