Saturday Practice Report

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles LakersAfter Kobe Bryant sat out Thursday’s practice because of “general soreness,” he went through his own workout while the rest of the team participated in a light session.

“(Bryant) will amp it up as much as he needs to,” coach Mike D’Antoni explained. “It’s not soreness of the Achilles, just general soreness. He hadn’t played since April and he went hard, and you just feel sore and sluggish. It’s a normal thing. He didn’t have to back off because of injury.”

The Lakers will embark on a three-game road trip next week, where practice time will be limited. But D’Antoni stated Bryant will be with the team and participate in shootaround. There is still no definitive timetable for his return, however.

“We look at the calendar and we say we’ll get practice here and you need to amp it up here,” D’Antoni said. “But how he responds to that is when he’ll be able to play, so we don’t know how that’ll be.”

Until Bryant returns, Pau Gasol believes the team should be focused on what they can do and build upon their play the last couple of games.

“We can’t really anticipate too much or stress about it,” Gasol said. “He’s going to come back when he comes back. Whenever that is, we’ll be happy and excited. But at the same time, we have to continue to play with the intensity and focus we have been playing with the last few games.”

With the team afforded more practice time over the last week, the 7-foot Spaniard, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds vs. Golden State, has seen a difference on both the offensive and defensive end.

“We have improved on both ends of the floor,” Gasol said. “We’ve developed our offensive game, but defensively, I think we’re hustling, we’re working together, we’re coming up with big stops and (creating) a bond that’s needed for our team to be successful.”