Kobe Bryant had missed three of the Lakers’ last four games and six of the last 11 after he sat out Sunday night and the Lakers’ loss to the Trail Blazers. While Byron Scott said he was not concerned about Kobe’s health, that his star just needed some rest, there were a lot of questions about if that was really the case.
Tuesday, Kobe answered them, going through 90 minutes of the Lakers’ practice.
While he is officially questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. Miami, it feels like Kobe will play if you read Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Daily News.
“He looked more focused,” Lakers forward Nick Young said of Bryant.
But will that prove enough for Bryant to return when the Lakers (12-26) host the Miami Heat (16-21) at Staples Center? Lakers coach Byron Scott said he will “pencil” Bryant in, but will not make a final decision until he sees the how 36-year-old feels following both morning shootaround and shortly before tipoff.
Scott sounded like a guy who was going to be cautious going forward with Kobe, saying he was the reason Kobe got worn down with heavy minutes in the first 27 games of the season.
“I thought his workload was too much,” Scott said. “He had a (minutes) number, my number was higher but his number was right, you know, when I look back at it. We cut those numbers down and I think his efficiency has been so much better, in terms of how he’s been able to play…
“I didn’t take into serious consideration him missing almost a whole year and now getting back and playing,” he said before his Lakers faced Portland. “I should have figured out that would take a little time. But watching his workouts and watching what great shape he was in I think I got a little too confident, expecting that he could handle those type of minutes. And like I said, I was wrong….
“You may think it’s not a lot — if it’s a minute or two or three minutes, it doesn’t make much of a difference — but in the long run it does.”
If Kobe plays against Miami expect to see him Thursday against LeBron James (probably, if he’s back) and Cleveland. Scott did say Kobe will sit out at least one game of back-to-backs for the rest of this season.