The Lakers have a soft start to the schedule — 20 of their first 28 are against teams that did not make the playoffs last season. No Thunder until January. Same with the Celtics. Miami isn’t a concern until Christmas.
So if they are going to be banged up, now is the time.
Andrew Bynum is still recovering from off-season knee surgery, but Phil Jackson said he is hoping for a Thanksgiving return for the Lakers center. He even doesn’t wants Bynum to rush back, as reported by the Orange County Register.
“I think he wants to ramp it up a little faster than we want him to,” said Jackson after Sunday’s practice in El Segundo. “We want him to be able to go in and sustain that effort when he does get back. We want him back tomorrow, but if he’s back in two or three or four weeks, we understand what it’s going to take.”
“I think the basketball part is going to be easy,” Jackson said. “I think the conditioning and the strengthening and those things will take time. He’s going to need two or three practices and he’ll be back up to speed where he can go play. Reactive time, I think that’s an issue, where he can react to the speed of the game.”
As long as he can do that by Christmas, when things really get serious for the Lakers, Jackson is good.
Kevin Durant was doing it all in the first half — he had 18 points to lead the Warriors (tied with Stephen Curry) and was making plays all over the court.
That includes racing back on this play and blocking Dejounte Murray‘s layup. Twice. On one shot.
The Warriors have led by 20 and been in control through the start of the third quarter. KD was at the heart of that.
That was a foul. Jonathan Simmons caught Draymond Green in the face as he reached in.
But the delayed then overly-dramatic reaction by Green is a classic flop.
We’ll see if the NBA fined Green for this, but Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich was amused.
Take that Stephen Curry.
Gregg Popovich would pull him so fast he’d look like a fidget spinner if he tried this in a game, but during warmups before Game 4 Monday night LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down a deep three from one knee.
If Aldridge is taking a lot of threes that’s not a good sign for the Spurs, but we’ll see if he can have a big night and keep the Spurs alive in this series.
Stephen Curry‘s pregame warmups draw people into the arena early, it’s a show in and of itself.
Before Game 4 Monday night, Curry was taking a couple shots from the center-court logo. And draining them. Like layups. Because he can.
We’ll see if he can put on that kind of show when the game tips off.