Mike Brown expects few limitations from Kobe Bryant
Looking at the swelling surrounding the torn ligament in Kobe Bryant's right wrist, Lakers Coach Mike Brown couldn't help but say the obvious.
"That doesn't look too good," Brown recalled saying during practice.
"That's fine," Bryant said, according to Brown. "I just need to find the right change I need to make on my shot so the ball goes in."
Interestingly enough, Brown said Bryant's shooting accuracy was "good" during the last two days of practice, leading the Lakers coach to express confidence that Bryant's wrist injury won't hurt his performance during the Lakers' Christmas Day opener Sunday against the Chicago Bulls. He'll even be able to shoot right-handed.
"There's no minute restriction on any of our guys," Brown said, and that includes Bryant.
Still, Brown has plenty of concerns. The Lakers must somehow be able to stop Derrick Rose with a backcourt featuring Derek Fisher, Steve Blake and Darius Morris and a frontcourt without Andrew Bynum.
"Whoever is guarding Derrick Rose," Brown said, "will have to have help because he's a great player."
He recalled that Richard Hamilton "gave LeBron [James] fits" because he smart enough and quick enough to get up and pressure." Now tha Hamilton joins the Bulls, Brown believes he adds another scoring option to complement Rose.
Brown said he's only installed about 1/3 of his strong corner offense through two weeks of training camp. He acknowledged there remains a disconnect on his players fully understanding the offense. He acknowledged there remains a disconnect on his players fully understanding the offense. And the Lakers field two new players in their starting lineup, including recently acquired Josh McRoberts at power forward and second-year player Devin Ebanks at small forward.
Though Brown classified training camp as "successful," even he's "very curious" how that will translate into the 2011-12 regular season.
"What's our compettiive spirit going to look like. My biggest question is how we'll play with 24 seconds on the defensive end of the floor. Can we defend for 24 seconds on every play. If we make a mistake, can we keep playing through the mistakes without hesitiating? Those are a couple questions going into this game that I'd like to take a look at."
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Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant stands near the bench during Wednesday's exhibition game against the Clippers at Staples Center. Bryant did not play because of torn ligament in his right wrist. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / December 21, 2011 )