After a weeklong trip to China as part of the NBA Global Games, the Lakers reconvened Sunday to watch film and a light practice.
Kobe Bryant (Achilles) and Chris Kaman (stomach virus) did not participate, while Steve Nash ended his day a little early because of a stomach virus, according to coach Mike D’Antoni. He told reporters post practice he would be fine, though. Both Jordan Farmar (calf strain) and Wesley Johnson (foot strain) went through a full practice after both played in the second game of the trip. Nash, who has also battled ankle problems, has played limited minutes in the last three preseason contests.
“It’s OK,” he said. “It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad, so I’ll take it.”
Even though the Lakers dropped both contests to the Golden State Warriors, the coaching staff maintains there were some positives to take away.
“I thought the guys practiced extremely well over there,” D’Antoni said. “We didn’t finish up the games really well, but a lot of it was very good stuff. We got some guys coming on and we got some guys trying to get back like Wesley Johnson (foot strain) and Jordan Farmar (calf strain) getting their wind back after missing a couple weeks. But I think overall, it was a good trip.”
Another player who had been off the court was the team’s second-round draft pick, Ryan Kelly (foot). He made his NBA debut in China, playing 12 minutes in both Tuesday and Thursday’s contest. He recorded a total of 10 points (two three-pointers) and four rebounds.
“He had a great couple practices, but he hasn’t played in six to eight months,” D’Antoni said. “It’s like starting golf – first couple times you go out, it looks good and then you’re all over the place. I thought he was all over the place, but that’s normal. He’ll keep working out. He looks good, though.”
With about a week-and-a-half before the season opener, D’Antoni acknowledged there are a number of areas he would like to see improvement from the team, especially in the final two preseason contests against Utah.
“It’s hard to say one thing,” he said. “I think we’re trying to get our pace down on offense, trying to get more disciplined on offense, running the right way and getting into our spots. Same on defense – trying to get back in transition, trying to get our bigs up on pick and rolls and trap a little bit better. We still have nine days of work, and we have to get ready for opening day.”