Los Angeles Lakers vs Washington Wizards

Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible


The real test comes Wednesday — it’s not how Kobe Bryant looked in practice Tuesday that will determine if he returns to the Lakers lineup Friday night, it’s how he feels 24 hours later.

Still, he looked good.

That according to everyone who saw him. Here are some tweets from Lakers reporters out of the practice.

As noted above, what matters most is how Kobe’s body responds tomorrow. Notice that the dunk above is off the right foot, not the repaired left. As is to be expected.

Kobe did not speak to the media (likely he will not until Thursday) but you get the feeling he will be back this weekend.

The Lakers play at Sacramento on Friday night then host Toronto on Sunday.

Don’t expect to see Steve Nash in either of those games. He practiced for 10 minutes but both the reporters there and Nash himself noted he looked much farther away.

The Lakers are without Jordan Farmar for the next month due to a torn hamstring, leaving Steve Blake as the only point guard healthy and active. The loss of Farmar is a blow to the second unit, where he helped orchestrate a surprisingly successful unit. Farmar also had some good run next to Blake. Now Mike D’Antoni is going to have to scramble his rotations a lot.

Of course, he was going to have to do that with Bryant’s return anyway.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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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.

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.