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NBA PM: Kobe Running On Partial Body Weight
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On August 19, 2013 @ 5:00 pm In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
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The Los Angeles Lakers kick off an eight-game preseason schedule on October 5, a little over six weeks from today. Twenty four days later they open up the regular season and there’s no bigger question mark surrounding the team this year than the status of All-Star shooting guard Kobe Bryant. Bryant tore his Achilles tendon in April and the normal timetable for recovery is 6-9 months.
However, if there’s one thing Bryant has proven over the course of his illustrious 17-year career that has him Hall of Fame bound, it’s that he’s far from normal – especially when it comes to recovering from injuries.
All reports have Bryant well ahead of that timetable. Although there’s still no official date set for his return yet, speculation around the league has the start of the season as a goal date.
Early on Monday morning, Bryant teased that he had a big update coming.
That update turned out to be video footage (which can be seen below) of the next step of his recovery process: running on an AlterG anti-gravity treadmill.
It’s important to note that standard running and running on an AlterG are two different things completely. The AlterG allows you to run on a percentage of your body weight. It’s unknown what Bryant had it set at, but it does serve as another sign that he could be back on the court much sooner than the normal timetable would have him returning.
As Bryant’s Achilles continues to strengthen, he will put more body weight on it until he can eventually run without any weight restriction.
Expectations for the Lakers are as low as they have been since Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Miami HEAT in 2004. A major publication recently projected them to finish 12th in the Western Conference, due largely in part to Bryant’s status along with the departure of one of the league’s best centers Dwight Howard.
Bryant turns 34 years old this week; combine that with the fact that he’s coming off of the most serious injury of his career and it’s reasonable to wonder whether he’ll be able to play at a championship level ever again. His vigorous approach to his rehab makes one thing certain, though: his desire to get his sixth ring hasn’t dwindled a bit.
Curry Healthy, Expecting Big Year: For the first time in his career, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry went into an offseason healthy. As a result, he’s been able to work on his game rather than recover, which has his expectations as high as ever.
“The last two summers I’ve had ankle surgeries so kind of put a dent in the summer, doing rehab for that and that process,” Curry said in an interview with NBA.com. “Being healthy after the playoffs, being able to jump right into the workouts, get stronger and get better as a player, I’ve really benefitted from the time. It’s a good feeling.”
With the addition of Andre Iguodala to the Warriors, many feel like they’ll be stronger and better as a team next year as well.
“I think we got better as a team and kept pace with the rest of the West Conference,” Curry said. “They made some moves. He’s a guy that’s versatile and can play four different positions, he can guard four different position. I feel like we put ourselves where we need to be going into the season. Obviously you have to play and win games, but with the talent we have I think the front office did a good job of keeping us competitive.
“He’ll do what Andre Igudoala does as a player we don’t want to change any of that. I know he’ll have the opportunity to kind of take Jarret Jack’s role, as handling the ball in certain situations where I can play off the ball. He’s an incredible slasher, he can shoot the ball, he’ll be able to make plays for us, sometimes you just give him the rock and see what he does, he’s so talented.”
As big as Iguodala’s arrival and Curry’s improvements are to the Warriors cause, an underrated aspect that doesn’t get talked about as much is the development of head coach Mark Jackson. Jackson will be entering his third year at the helm of the Warriors and while there were some questions about hiring someone with no coaching experience at first, Jackson undoubtedly has the Warriors headed in the right direction.
“He knows how to communicate in a way that fires you up,” Curry said. “Sometimes he doesn’t even have to raise his voice, it’s just what he says and how he says it. You get inspired, we feel like we have a lot of momentum coming off last season even though we lost a couple guys and added a couple guys. I feel like we can kind of keep that same identity we’ve been trying to form since coach Jackson took reigns of the team. As long as we stay healthy, we get Andrew Bogut back healthy, David Lee back healthy, add Andre Iguodala, let Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes continue to grow. I feel like sky is the limit for us. We’re on a mission to do better than last year and I think that’s obtainable.”
The Warriors’ season ended at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs last season. The Spurs went on to win the Western Conference championship, sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies in the conference finals. The next step in the Warriors progression would be getting past the second round, vying for a conference championship and a spot in the NBA Finals.
It’s going to be very interesting to see if they can take that step, given that they had to sacrifice some of their depth, a huge part of their success last year, in order to add Iguodala. It’s a move that the Warriors had to make, but there will undoubtedly be times next season where they miss Jack and Carl Landry, who signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings respectively.
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