Friday Practice Round Up
Here's a round up of Lakers practice from Friday afternoon:
KOBE PRACTICES, FEELS GOOD:
Kobe Bryant told us during Wednesday's preseason game that the strained shoulder keeping him on the bench was "fine," which was confirmed by his full participation at practice on Friday.
"Yeah it's good," Bryant offered. "Strong."
Bryant made it through with no limitations, and was said to have been going hard, 1-on-1, with Metta World Peace, who has been excellent in the team's two preseason games. Bryant will start Saturday's game against Utah.
CDR TURNING HEADS:
Chris Douglas-Roberts, a third year guard who had success in New Jersey before opting to play in Italy during the lockout, is off to an impressive start in Lakers camp.
"He’s a hard worker and he competes," said Bryant. "That’s what I really like. I have no patience for lazy dudes and guys that are weak. He’s a competitor and as a consequence, I help him out a lot."
Douglas-Roberts is in the always-difficult situation of trying to make the roster as a non-guaranteed free agent, but he's taking advantage of the opportunity thus far by scoring 14 points in 20 total preseason minutes and standing out in practice.
"I've always felt at home on the basketball court and I'm just excited to have this opportunity," said CDR. "All I can control is how I play on the court, and I'm out there trying to kill you every time. Just competing."
BROWN LOOKING FOR MORE:
What's Mike Brown looking for from his team in preseason game No. 3 against Utah on Saturday?
"To continue to try and get better in transition," he said. "I thought our transition defense was really poor our first two games, so we need to get better. If we can do that on that end of the floor, then all the better for us.
"I thought other areas we took steps forward, except for that one. Offensively, we’ve thrown a lot at them. It’s a complicated offense but the execution is not bad. We threw a little bit more at them a couple days ago, so I just want to continue to see our point guards get our team organized offensively and for our guys to try and make their teammates better – setting good, solid screens, making hard cuts, running the offense in the half court with a good pace."
MEEKS NAILING DOWN BACKUP SG ROLE:
The coaches have been pleased of late with the play of free agent signing Jodie Meeks in practice this week, enough that the former Sixers starter looks like Kobe's backup at shooting guard.
"Jodie has played well," said Mike Brown. "He hasn’t necessarily shot the ball extremely well yet, but his feel, his understanding for what we’re trying to do, his work ethic, his physicality, the way he’s shown (to) defending, he’s capable of getting rebounds and loose balls – it’s been a good thing."
Meeks made only 1 of 7 shots in the second preseason loss, but grabbed five rebounds and played aggressive defense. The difficulty will be figuring out where to get his shots in the new offense so that a rhythm can be more quickly attainable.
"He’s starting to round into form a little bit," explained Bryant. "It took getting used to in terms of getting here, getting used to the new system and where shots are going to come from and getting a rhythm. But he’s coming along."
HOWARD GETTING CLOSER:
Dwight Howard said that he simply continues "chipping away" with his rehabilitation and getting better on the daily, his conditioning improving along the way.
"During the scrimmage, I probably played the most minutes I have during the scrimmage," he said. "I’ve been running a lot and just trying to push through fatigue. So I’m getting there."
He will not play in Saturday's preseason game, but continues to progress with no set backs since being cleared for full 5-on-5 contact drills on Tuesday.
Extra credit: check out the 7-foot rookies battling Howard in 1-on-1 drills after Thursday's practice: WATCH HERE.