After today’s practice, Kobe said he’s seen improvement in his back since fighting his way through the injury throughout the Lakers’ loss in Game 4 on Sunday.
While the MVP guard did not participate in the team’s shooting drills today, he said that his back feels much better than it did even 24 hours ago, noting that if there were a game today, he would absolutely suit up.
According to Kobe, his injury affects his elevation, change of direction and just about every other aspect of his game.
“I think that the key is to try and know what you can and can’t do,” said Bryant. “I think the last game was kind of an indicator for me. So, if it is that bad—and I don’t think it will be that bad again—but if it is, I can kind of know what I can and can’t do.”
“Sleeping’s tough. You’ve got to sleep with something under your hips at all times,” said Kobe, who also revealed that other simple things such as driving a car have also been difficult for him.
No one of the coaching staff nor his teammates think that the injury will impede Bryant’s overall effort too much in Game 5.
“There’s a possibility he may not shoot the ball well, but that doesn’t really concern us that much because he’ll find a way to what’s necessary in the ballgame at some level,” said Coach Jackson. “As long as he can play, we’re satisfied, we’ll be OK.”
Derek Fisher, who has been with Bryant through many injuries, said that he has faith that Kobe will find ways to contribute, regardless of his physical condition.
“If there’s even a couple of hours between the end of the game and the next game, he’ll find a way in that two hour period to get himself in a position where he can help the team,” said Fisher. “That doesn’t mean he’s going to be Kobe Bryant in that situation in terms of having to score 40 or 50 points, but he’ll find a way to help the team.”