Kobe Comes Early to Oakland

kobe_warriorsLakers guard Kobe Bryant arrived early to ORACLE Arena in Oakland in preparation for L.A.’s Monday night contest against Golden State, running through a variety of shooting drills with assistant coach Brian Shaw.

An hour after Bryant completed his shooting regimen and started his stretching routine in the locker room, Derek Fisher said that Kobe’s various injuries throughout the season (broken finger, sprained ankle among others) have affected No. 24′s preferred routine.

“He hasn’t been able to practice as much as he (could) in the past,” said Fisher. “Working out before and after the game and things like that … but he’s been getting (to the arena) at 4:30 (p.m.) to try and ramp himself up for 7:30.”

This season, Bryant has put up 44 and 20 points in two games against Golden State, missing the third match up while recovering from his ankle injury. He added 11 and six assists, respectively, in those two Lakers wins, and is looking for a season sweep of the Warriors.

Phil Jackson Pregame
Some notes from Jackson’s pregame session:
- Jackson noted the edge that he expects Golden State to play with since this is the fourth meeting between the teams and that L.A. has won the first three. Clearly, no team ever wants to lose, but four times is a different beast.

- While of course pounding the ball down low is a key, Jackson said it’s not so much about what Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol do, but how L.A.’s guards manage to control the game and how well they’re able to feed the post. Golden State is a small, active team that tries to disrupt passing angles and prevent easy entry passes, of which Jackson is aware.

- Jackson mentioned the fluky nature of the Lakers having such a multitude of hand injuries, the roll call reading: Kobe, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown.

- L.A.’s head coach isn’t so much watching the scoreboard to see how far behind Denver or Dallas is, but instead simply keeping an eye on all teams that the Lakers might face.