Caught in the Web: Lakers coming off much-needed day of rest
Talk about good timing.
The Lakers got a much-needed day of rest on the very day the average sports fan never feels like doing much beyond watching the Super Bowl. So while fans watched the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts in dramatic fashion, Kobe Bryant's Super Bowl XLIV prediction go wrong and Lamar Odom's appearance in a Taco Bell ad, the Lakers also had time to recover from fatigue.
"My legs are so heavy right now," Lakers forward Pau Gasol offered to reporters as the main reason why he was looking forward to "just chill."
Gasol probably wasn't the only one feeling that way. Bryant missed his first game of the season Saturday in the Lakers' 99-82 victory over Portland because of a sprained left ankle. Center Andrew Bynum, who wore a brace to treat swelling in his left knee, missed the second half because of a right hip bruise.
The team has listed Bryant as "day-to-day" and Bynum as "doubtful" for Monday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs. But there's no doubt that the day of rest and relaxation helped. The Spurs are anticipating Bryant will play, but there is also the suggestion that Bryant may shut it down until after the All-Star break.
We'll soon find out if a day off and a Super Bowl fix is all that Bryant and Bynum needed to feel ready to go.
More Lakers links (after the jump)
--It's pretty clear the Chicago Bulls will ship guard Kirk Hinrich before the Feb. 18 trade deadline, the Daily Herald's Mike McGraw is reporting. He also suggests that the Lakers would be a good suitor if they offer Adam Morrison, Jordan Farmar and Josh Powell.
--There's many of them, but NBA.com managed to create a Top-10 list of Shannon Brown's best dunks. Consider it the appetizer before the full-course meal that is the NBA All-Star dunk contest. Those looking for what theatrics Brown will provide, well, he's not telling.
--The two-year anniversary involving the Lakers' acquisition of Gasol may wax nostalgia among Lakers fans, but no one else around the league has that same mindset. Spurs Coach Greg Poppovich originally lambasted Memphis for making the deal, but has since softened his stance. Still, the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald says there's no other way around the fact the Spurs have gone 2-7 against the Lakers since the Gasol trade.
-- Ball Don't Lie's J.E. Skeets isn't too keen on Odom's Taco Bell ad.
--Lakers great Jerry West, executive director of the Northern Trust Open, gave credit to the golfers and fans who weathered the heavy rain during play on Friday.
--Lakers forward Ron Artest has shot 43% from three-point range this season, a number the Riverside Press-Enterprise's Jim Alexander says is a pleasant surprise to Lakers Coach Phil Jackson.
Tweet of the Day: "According to Phil, Tex Winter said to Lakers B4 game: 'There is no substitute for hustle and if you don't hustle there will be a substitute.'" -- JeanieBuss (Lakers' executive vice president Jeanie Buss)
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Kobe Bryant looks to get past George Hill of the Spurs during the Lakers' 105-85 loss in San Antonio. Credit: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images