The wait is over.
The Lakers will debut their super-team at full strength later this evening, when Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace will all be in the starting lineup when the team takes the floor at home against the Dallas Mavericks.
Bryant missed his team’s final two preseason games and a week of practices due to a foot injury, but updated his Facebook page just after 5PM Pacific to let us all know he’s ready to go.
Feeling good enough to play tonight! I’ll use my strong midsoles for added cushion on the foot for more protection.
Looking forward to this journey as I’m sure you are.
It’s Go Time.
We’ll see if Kobe is his usual self, and we’ll be watching to see if the foot appears to be giving him any trouble. On a team with so many weapons, he shouldn’t feel the need to press if the injury is at all bothering him, but we know Bryant’s history and if it’s taught us anything, it’s that he’s only capable of playing at a level of maximum speed and intensity.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.