Tag: Kobe ankle

New Orleans Hornets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five

Hornets’ coach explains Kobe’s ankle better than Kobe


Kobe Bryant wouldn’t really talk about his injured ankle, and he wasn’t letting doctors look at it either. All Phil Jackson would say was that he was playing.

After the game, it took Hornets coach Monty Williams to sum it up best (as reported by Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated):

“All this talk about his ankle — did it look like his ankle was hurting? OK then. It is what it is. He made a spectacular play.”

The spectacular play in question is his dunk over Ekemka Okafor. Although the one over Carl Landry was pretty good, too.

It would be very Kobe for the treatments to work, for his ankle to feel a lot better and for him to keep that quiet as his own little secret he would spring on the world during the game. Kobe loves him some mind games, some psychological warfare.

Maybe that’s why he and Phil Jackson get along.

NBA Playoffs: It’s not Kobe’s ankle, it’s Chris Paul breaking them

New Orleans Hornets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two
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Game 5 is about ankles.

The one getting all the hype is Lakers guard Kobe Bryant’s left ankle. His foot is still attached, so he’s playing. That’s not the question.

He twisted his ankle (and foot) at the end of Los Angeles 93-88 loss to New Orleans in Game 4 and has since refused to get an X-ray or an MRI.  That can be taken as a sign that his ankle is not that bad, or that he is stubborn. Take your pick. Maybe even some of both. But it could backfire.

If Kobe’s ankle isn’t right, his shot will be flat and he won’t be of much help defending Hornets point guard Chris Paul tonight in Game 5. And that could be trouble for the Lakers. Maybe.

The other ankles are the ones Paul keeps breaking.

He has torn up the Lakers defense this series, and in the Hornets’ two wins he has been absolutely dominant in the second half. His crossovers are breaking ankles and creating space, but more importantly they are forcing defensive rotations and then he is finding the open man.

Who is knocking it down? In the first half of Game 4, Trevor Ariza didn’t even need Paul’s help (he got plenty of isolations) and made plays. The Hornets will need more of that.

The Lakers were 2-2 in their first-round series against Oklahoma City last year, too, but found their footing in the next two games. History may well repeat itself.

That footing has less to do with Kobe’s ankle and more to do with the Lakers getting back to pounding the ball inside (then making those shots). Hornets center Emeka Okafor was able to keep Andrew Bynum — the real key for these Lakers this series — in check. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom were off.

The Lakers need to get a lot of points in the paint, more importantly they need to own the boards. They are the bigger team, but they were outrebounded last game. Paul had as many as Odom and Gasol combined (13). What Pat Riley told the Showtime Lakers years ago remains true for these Lakers today: rebounds equal rings.

The Lakers need to make Paul work — they had success in Game 2 with ball denial — and they need to be physical with him. They are the bigger team; they need to wear him down. He is the Hornets’ chance. Even slow him to average and the Lakers can win. But when he breaks out, he is a perfect key to unlock the Lakers.

At this point, this series is not about adjustments. It’s about execution. Paul has been the master; the Lakers have been spotty. If the Lakers play like that again, their dreams of a three-peat will be in sudden and serious jeopardy. Because we know CP3 will bring it.

Kobe tweaks ankle, stays in game, expects to play in Game 5

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Hornets - Game Four
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In the regular season, Kobe Bryant would have come out…

Oh, who are we kidding? Kobe would have stayed in if this was a pickup game on the blacktop at the local junior high. It’s how he’s wired. But it was a playoff game so in case there was any doubt, he was waving off Shannon Brown.

And he told ESPNLosAngeles’ Dave McMenamin that he plans to go in the crucial Game 5 Tuesday

“It’s sore,” Bryant said, conducting his postgame interview in the training room area of the visitor’s locker room at New Orleans Arena rather than at the podium for the televised press conference. “It just rolled over. It’s been weeks since I hurt it last and when it happens, when you roll your ankle once, it’s easy to go and it just went….

“I should play (in Game 5),” Bryant said. “It’s going to take a lot to stop me from playing.

“I’m concerned, as I am about any injury, but I’ve played through so many of them it kind of becomes old hat for me.”

That said he left the arena on crutches.

With 1:30 left in the game Kobe stepped wrong and tweaked his left ankle, the same one where he has been battling a sprain for much of the season. He was simply tracking Willie Green across the key when the toe of his foot just caught and twisted under him in a fluke play.

If Kobe’s ankle slows him, if it throws his shot off, the Lakers are going to need more from their big men. But really, they need more from their big men anyway.

Kobe Bryant game-time decision Monday night

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks
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Kobe Bryant played through a sprained ankle aggravated during the Lakers thumping of the Dallas Mavericks Saturday, but now that the ankle has had a couple days to really swell up and get sore, he is a game-time decision for Monday night’s big game against the Orlando Magic. So said Phil Jackson, and we trust him. Kind of.

This is Kobe, so if they can hold his ankle together with some duct tape and spit he’ll hobble out there and play. Whether that is good for the team or not.

Kobe told reporters that he thought it was a lot worse, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“I thought I was done, like done,” Bryant said after the Dallas game. “I was just praying that when I stood up my foot was lined up straight. … That scared the s— out of me. I thought I dislocated it.

“We were all pretty scared … to be honest with you because it looked horrible and it felt worse.”

Note to the Magic: These Lakers are not the Phoenix Suns.

Sunday Orlando thumped a Steve Nash-less Suns team, now they could get the Lakers without Kobe. But don’t mistake the rest of the Lakers roster for the rest of the Suns roster. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will prove a bigger challenge for Dwight Howard, and the Lakers have guys like Gasol and Lamar Odom that can still light up the scoreboard.

That said, the Magic are having the injury breaks fall their way.