Injuries put crimp in Lakers’ plans

first_imgBy Elliott Teaford STAFF WRITER HONOLULU – Not everyone wearing a purple-and-gold jersey had an enormous ice pack or two strapped to an appendage or two during the first week of training camp. It just seemed that way. The Lakers canceled the first of their two scheduled practices Sunday at Iolani High School, giving the players a chance to rest and recover before an extended afternoon workout. Sunday was to be the last of the team’s two-a-days. “It’s too far away to be concerned,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said when asked if he was troubled by the injuries. “We’re comfortable with the fact that these guys look good. Obviously, there’s more of a threat of injury than the reality of it.” Injuries should worry the Lakers. After all, a seemingly endless string of them helped to derail the Lakers’ progress last season. The Lakers had a 26-13 record after defeating the Spurs on Jan. 17 in San Antonio, but limped to a final mark of 42-40. Walton played only 60 games last season. Bryant sat out five games. Odom was limited to 56 games. Brown played 41. Mihm didn’t play at all. When asked last week about the aspect of his game that he hoped to improve most this season, Brown said he simply hoped to be healthier. “I just feel a responsibility to play more games,” Brown said. “I only played in 41 last year and I think it hurt us. Hopefully, I can play all 82 this year because we’re definitely a better team with me in there.” It’s uncertain whether Odom, Brown and Mihm will be sound enough to play by opening night Oct. 30 against the Houston Rockets. The Lakers play the first of their two Honolulu exhibitions against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Back to school Center Andrew Bynum spent part of his summer in a college classroom, which made him like a lot of other 19-year-olds trying to get ahead on their coursework. Bynum said he received a B grade in a history class at Loyola Marymount. “We did, like, 400 years in three weeks,” he said. “The first day of class, they gave me two books to read and two papers to write.” Bynum said he also planned to take an online course during the season and eventually wants to get a degree. “I want to get a degree, but it’s going to take, like, 12 years,” he joked. Bynum also participated in a gym class for one. The Lakers asked him to improve his strength, endurance and conditioning during the summer, so he hired a personal trainer during the offseason. “Last year, we started out well and then it looked like we hit a wall,” Bynum said. “I guess I did. So I was out there on that track. It’s the only way to get it done.” Grunge man Power forward Ronny Turiaf makes no apologizes for his style of play. “I do the dirty work,” he said. “That’s what I do. I feel no shame. If that’s what it takes for me to get on the basketball court, then that’s what I’m going to do, brother. I’m not going to try to shoot 3s and do stuff I can’t do. All I can do is play defense, rebound, block some shots and help the offense be so much smoother.” Raptors win in Europe Chris Bosh scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Toronto Raptors held off a spirited Virtus Lottomatica Roma squad for a 93-87 preseason victory in Rome. Andrea Bargnani added 13 points and seven rebounds to help the Raptors win in his hometown. Danish forward Christian Drejer led Roma with 23 points. With only two players taller than 6-foot-7, Roma struggled inside where the 6-10 Bosh was able to operate relatively uncontested. The Associated Press contributed to this notebook.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Luke Walton has a strained right hamstring. Kobe Bryant has a sore right knee. Lamar Odom is still recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder. Kwame Brown is rebounding from surgery on his left ankle and right shoulder. Chris Mihm also had ankle surgery. last_img read more

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