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Lakers phasing into first weekend of practice

Before it even started, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson predicted training camp would be a "bust." And plenty of variables were on display this opening weekendas to why that's proved to be the case.

To no one's surprise, Lakers center Andrew Bynum sat out of Sunday's practice in what will mark the beginning of a preseason rehabilitation process after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this off-season. But what could at least be a tad consoling to Lakers fans entails the fact Jackson didn't exactly share Bynum's assessment that he wouldn't return until late November, instead offering his expectation that Bynum would return in two to three weeks after the regular season starts Oct. 26 against Houston.

Although Jackson believes Kobe Bryant's efforts in recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery this off-season has proved enough to play during the preseason, Bryant sat out of Saturday's and Sunday's practices. He described his right knee as "feeling pretty good," but he said he has been taking a "step-by-step" approach in improving the conditioning and strength in his knee. But it's certainly nothing to fret over. Bryant isn't for one: "I don't give two [expletive]" about the preseason.

Jackson shared a similar nonchalant tone, even with news that backup guard Steve Blake mildly sprained his left ankle. The injury isn't considered serious and he's listed as day-to-day, but it's rather interesting how the injury happened. Jackson shared that Sasha Vujacic collided with Blake, with Jackson saying Vujacic "gave him a little extra push" in a "highly competitive drill."  So that means the approach Blake plans to take in fitting with the team, which outlined to me during media day, will be put on hold just temporarily.

In fact, Blake's injury isn't the only memorable instance surrounding Vujacic so far in training camp. Bryant described vividly how Shannon Brown leapt over Vujacic for a dunk during Saturday's evening practice.

"It was dumb. Sasha tried to take a charge on Shannon in the charge circle," Bryant said, shaking his head. "He forgot how high he jumps. It's just silly. He just went over him."

Still, even with how little can be drawn from the early days of training camp, it served as the first step. Jackson liked how Walton's back held up. He thought Lamar Odom appeared in reasonable shape, though he suspected much was on his mind surrounding his one-year anniversary with Khloe Kardashian. And Jackson provided praise for the newcomers in Blake, Matt Barnes, Theo Ratliff, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter.

"Every one of them has a part of their game that's a reason we brought them here," Jackson said. "Caracter's a tremedous offensive rebounder, and he's a real physical force in there. Matt showed some speed and quickness. Theo made some jump shots and blocked some shots out there. Steve Blake had a big influence on our practice today, just organizing his team. Devin Ebanks is very active and looks like he'll be a pretty good defender too."

There was also Pau Gasol's re-introduction to organized basketball since last year's championship run. Because of concerns over his two injured hamstrings last season as well as fatigue, Gasol abstained from the 2010 FIBA World Championships. It became his most limited off-season in four years, keeping his activity to individual workouts and a one-on-one session with his borther, Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.

And if Bryant's assessment of Jackson means anything, it looks like it could be a good year. ""He looks better than he did last year," Bryant said of Jackson, who wore a knee brace during practice. "He looks great. He has a lot of energy; he moves around extremely well. He looks good."

Yes, these are all developments that seem small in nature, but critical in providing a solid foundation for a long season. This is just the beginning.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
Comments () | Archives (44)

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@ CYBERCOSMIX . . .

I think I owe you a big apology. Over the summer, in MagicPhil's renegade chatroom, somebody commented about a "previous Laker Mike". I asked around and got the impression that maybe I had assumed a name somebody else was using. But I was unsure.

Beginning with the playoff season of '06 (7 game collapse versus Suns), I had been reading the blog. It wasn't until a year or so later that I starting contributing. At that time, I did not remember seeing that name. IF I HAD, I WOULD NEVER HAVE USED IT!

Now, years later, I read this by my fellow Laker patriot, LakerTom: "It was also good to see you giving LakerMike a high five, especially since he hijacked your blog handle while you were away. :-)"

PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGY! You had the name first obviously. Please ask MM for my email address. We can use that communication to organize an orderly return of YOUR name to YOU.

Of course, Mrs. LakerMike will remain in my possession! :-)

Mike

@MIKE & MIKE… Hey, I didn’t mean to stir anything up but that was a classic response LakerMike. Nice gesture but the old LakerMike has already become CyberCosmiX as you’ve become LakerMike. I would have to say next to the ubiquitous Mamba clan, the Mike clan is doing a pretty good job blogging.
~
Of course, thanks to Tom Daniels, the Tom clan will make its mark, too. Our problem is that there are probably a lot of Tom’s out there using anonymous handles. I’m sure, for example, that KobeMVP888 is also a Tom. And probably 63 Footer, too. It’s even possible Lew’s real name is Tom.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Don't call me Tom. Dick, Harry... okay. Not Tom. I will answer to Suphachad, Mawuli and Laksmono as well.

MM - great post...please keep us in the mix with any minute information to give us a picture of how training camp is progressing...

Man I wish I had your job...lol

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

Finally! some balling news!
I'll be around more often. My preseason starts now!
Go LAKERS!!!

So CyberCosmiX used to be LakerMike? And now he became CyberCosmiX? A nd we have a new LakerMike?

I hope everybody is happy!

PS: I was always afraid there was another Magic Phil here, but apparently I'm good...

Cheers

For most, it's not a matter of 'hating' on Andrew.

He's just injury prone, and fans are frustrated.

A fact on both counts.

But not to worry Laker fans,

If Bynum can't carry it, Luke will bring it!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Except for Willis, the Niners were pathetic, pretty much across the board.
Only partly Alex's fault, but no more excuses for him either.
They should at least have an NFL level game plan when they arrive at a stadium.
They are all responsible for that butt-kicking, starting with the pathetic coaching. The season is still young, but very disappointed to this point. There is too much talent on the team for ANY kind of excuse to stand.

Go Kings!
Go Niners!
Go Giants!
Go Manny, go!

MM -

the video looks good, the write-ups are informative, and the questions you ask are just the type ( I believe) that people here want to ask if they could (feel free to correct me if I am wrong).

I'm quite excited for everyone on the team to start building a sense of on-court continuity. From the sound of things, it looks like we'll have a pretty deep team for the year.

GO LAKERS!

MM-I would like you to contact me ASAP.

Thanks

A lot of praises for one day. Phil Jackson does not give many praises the whole year. Wow, what is he up to this time? So much good stuff for the new role players and rookies, my hopes are sky rocketing for this team! I need to settle down.


Sasha is the only bads news. What's new?


Sasha is danger to his teammates especially to the guards in his team. He should try it on Matt Barnes, what he did to Blake and Brown.

Love this stuff...keep it coming Mark.

We want more....and more of it.

Does anyone feel like the monster plant from the 'Little Shop of Horrors' with all this Lakers stuff coming down?

"Feed us Mark! We are hunnnnguurrrry!"

Very interesting article about Bynum:
http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/five-years-in-we-still-dont-have-a-lock-on-andrew-bynum.php


It's hard not to be a bit frustrated about all those injuries. But I support him. I'm a Bynum-backer.


But...this is the season...Better geet healthy socks...

Thank God it's started.
-
Awesome.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

Sasha...trying to indimidate Steve Blake on the first weekend of practice?!

Absolutely love it!

Fatty - Who is now singing "Suddenly Kobe" in his head -

Lakers spirit seems good.....

This Lakers team looks loose, contented, confident, and focused on the task at hand.

Defending our Title and winning another.

We need some names for these new guys. That's one of our job requirements, no?

Fatty -

do you have any suggestions for names? I heard of an acronym a few posts back (more or less), but I'm plum out of nicknames.

I'm sure everyone was just hyped up about getting back to work. No different from the higher decibels in the classroom on the first day, as old friends renew friendships, new acquaintances are formed and the bullies beating up on the new kids. I hope that wasn't the case with Sasha tangling with Steve Blake on the very first day, right? I mean, his playing time was already in jeopardy because of the Shannon Brown re-signing, and maybe Sasha felt that his only chance for more PT was at the back-up point guard spot -- that Blake had locked up.

Seriously, i really love the attitude shown by everyone. The tough first day means that they haven't lost their edge, and the new guys (Blake, Barnes, Ratliff, Ebanks and Caracter) appear to have impressed the coaches. Way to go!

GO LAKERS!

Devin Ebanks impresses the experts-

"I think Ebanks has shown a lot of promise in terms of versatility in terms of the things he can do offensively," Kobe Bryant

"Devin is a really good defender, people are going to be surprised when they see how he can play defense," Ron Artest

"Ebanks was very active, very active and it looks like he can be a pretty good defender too." Phil Jackson

JUSTAHATER - I deleted those comments because they were inappropriate and personal, even if you apparently think otherwise. I had already warned you before about this

MM

"And the Lord, on the 2nd day, looked down upon his creation on the practice court and saw that everything was very good. And there came to be an evening, and a morning, as the 2nd day came to a close."

- From the Book of Phil Jackson

MM, thanks for telling us!

LT-i'm just dum, but every day and in every way, i'm getting better and better!

it's not amazing that people are dogging Bynum when they don't know the facts. but when they dog him in spite of the facts, they're just looking for a scapegoat in their own lives. they saved his knee's miniscus. it'll take longer to heal than just cutting the bad part out, but he'll have cartilage in his knee after a few years now, instead of grinding bone on bone after a couple of seasons. isn't Laker life grand?

----

i like most everything that i heard in these clips. barring injury, no one will be able to stop this team. pray for good health and a little bit of good fortune(lucky IS good!). this should be a very fun season to watch for Laker Fans, with just a very little bit of help in the form of good fortune...

all i can do is cheer or complain. the team has to do the work. complaining gets old and it's not that much fun. i like to save complaining for when it's appropriate, after something truly bad has happened. as soon as the bad thing is over, it's back to cheering. i can't afford many more bad days at my age...

The last season Championship game was really one of the best.I just watch it on the television but feels like i was also there on the court wathing Celtics and Lakers live.I'm sure it's not just me but a lot of fans are all excited to see the MVP again,Kobe to play.

"Of course, thanks to Tom Daniels, the Tom clan will make its mark, too. Our problem is that there are probably a lot of Tom’s out there using anonymous handles. I’m sure, for example, that KobeMVP888 is also a Tom. And probably 63 Footer, too. It’s even possible Lew’s real name is Tom.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM
Posted by: LakerTom | September 26, 2010 at 06:46 PM"

Hi Tom,

You guys could be known as the "Tom Tom Club".

h.

Congrats Mark...your Derrick Caracter post made the Forum Blue and Gold...

http://www.forumblueandgold.com/

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

@Laker Tom - This 'Tom' says it all about us...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ-bhM-xuec

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

@LRob - good morning...always one who is planted...this is for you...have a good week...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQfjIw3mivc

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

@phred and justanothermambafan - Is this what you were talking about...I'm so confused...lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upii6wHoyao&feature=related

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

@KobeMVP888, Tate, LFIB, and BlackMambaFanatic -

Forget BSPN...This is how I feel....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiOqHLVxZvA

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

LEW- Yeah, that's the one.

Great stuff.

@ All the Bynum Doubters...

It's been a mystery, and still they try to see...
Why somethin' good can hurt so bad...
Caught on a one-way street, the taste of bittersweet...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1cjUA9jadM&feature=related

@ The Die Hard Bynum Supporters...

Don't stop believin'...
Hold on to the feelin'...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=barLaHrtvoM&feature=related

@ Our wonderful Laker Blog...

Till otherwise proven...

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSTivVclQQ0

Lew,

Was 36th chamber last night or tonight?

Either way, good luck there. That is unique kung fu film in the history of the gerna, but it also has a kind of devious history and hold the same odd title to me that Star Wars does for a lot of critics--that being the genisis of the day the movies died. If Star Wars ushered in the era of FX, then 36th Chamber ushered in the era of the kung fu sound stage. Like "The One Armed Swordsman," 36th Chamber takes all of it's kung fu indoors (well, maybe one scene has natural light) to a big sound stage, which led to many Shaw directors putting out a really cheap, cheesy, plotless, characterless kung fu product. It wasn't long after making a million dollars on 36th Chamber that Shaw Bros directors started working on as many as 10 films at the same time.

And a lot of them are crap. But, not at this point. Gordon Liu from Kill Bill (Pai Mei and the leader of the Crazy 88) is really great in the first of many roles as the killer Shaolin monk.

Enjoy.

Wes

Looks like Melo is serious...He is skipping Nuggets media day today...

Scratch Denver off the list of hurdles to the 3Peat...

@wes -

Tonight will be movie night...it was suppose to be last night, but we both were tired from a BBQ...I will give you my critique tomorrow...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...


Big news fromKobe'on Phil - "He looks great. He has a lot of energy; he moves around extremely well. He looks good."


We may need some minutes from Phil with Drew down. His long arms and tough defensive attitude are just what we need off the bench. Yes, it's surprising to see him go from "The Special Chair" to the active roster. Those two surgically replaced hips will really be put to the test. But if Luke can play, why not Phil?


Kobe obviously loves his coach and values his leadership. He talked about it after last season, what Phil's balance and calm bring to the team. It's great to see Kobe excited at seeing Phil doing better. I am sure Kobe is measuring the odds that Phil may be back again next year.


Preseason is not much different from offseason, really. But at least there is daily news and the scent of real basketball in thr air.

I am really looking forward to seeing these guys play. Phil isn't one to send compliments very often, and he seems pretty pleased the way these guys play. I'll be watching them play in Portland again this year, hoping they pull off another miracle again and get the win. Also....is it really surprising to Bynum supporters that people are just sick and tired of the injuries? It is not an indictment on his talent or skill level, just concern for the team.

MM,
We need our morning fix. What do you have for us this lovely morning? Hopefully more good news. We are getting spoiled, and we're just scratching the surface on what promises to be a phenomenal season.

Bynum's injuries are way over done by the fans. By my count, he had one injury (prone) that cost him less than 10 games (achilles) and 2 freak accidents that would hobble anyone and those cost him 2.5 seasons and 2.5 playoffs

By the way Phil puts it, we might not need the services of Drew and Luke at all. The newbies and rookies could handle the job. We have passed the Dark Years of the Lakers, in fact won b2b with little services from them so lets shift the attention to Blake, Barnes, Ratliff, Caracter and Ebanks those are 5 new names, a new dawn for Lakers quest for 3peat. Let the best players play and win this one, enough with the debates. Nobody is indispensable in this team except Kobe, the great one.

Good morning Blog Crue. Looks like it was a bad week to have Tech Week at the ole Theatre. So may posts to catch up on! Thanks, MM!


Sasha's already looking to 'sweep the leg' so he can get more PT?!? Wowzers. Gotta love UPS showing why the Lakers kept him on the payroll, straight jumping over the fellah to get 'er done. I'll bet that was a lively practice last night.


Good news on the Luke Walton front, having a guy like that healthy, able to scrimmage and show the newbies what spots are the most effective on the floor will only help their acclimation process. I used to refer to him as Luke 'Hops' Walton, but now I'm thinking of switching to Luke 'Cerebral' Walton. Thoughts?


Gotta love Phil's assessment of Kobe moving around the court with fluidity (and I don't mean in the knee). With a healthy Kobe the sky's the limit with this team. Couldn't he have dropped a statement over the summer letting the fans know about his decision to hold off on the finger, though? Doesn't this guy care about his Q rating?


Ain't no way Phil's leaving this party early: one more year, one more year!

Marc Stein picks up the Lakers as the team to beat amid the noise from other teams.

http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings

~~those are goals to meet throughout the season. Try to beat the records of the '72 Lakers in consecutive wins that is a good start. Talk is good but actions are louder than words as they say.

Jamie - Good Karate Kid reference.

JR

Nothing can stop the Lakers this year except Sasha taking out the roster one at a time?


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