Kobe Bryant

Update: Kobe Bryant can’t fully push off on Achilles yet


In case you were holding out any hope that in 11 days Kobe Bryant would be suited up and ready to play in the season opener when the Lakers host the Los Angeles Clippers, we bring you this note from Mike Trudell, the official Lakers.com reporter traveling with the team.

When Mike D’Antoni said the other day it was unlikely Kobe would be ready for opening day that should have been a sign.

Kobe is diligently working on his rehab, he’s making progress, but as we’ve noted from the day this happened Achilles injuries are not something you can just play through or push through in the same way as other injuries. It is more like a hamstring injury, where you have to be careful during rehab about setbacks and wait until it is fully healed before taking the next steps. It’s an exercise in patience.

Kobe will be back at some point early in the season, it’s just hard to picture that being opening night if he can’t yet fully push off on that leg. When he returns we’ll see how he performs and how long it takes to shake the rust off. This is a Lakers team that can’t afford to fall in a big hole early if the goal remains the playoffs.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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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.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.