Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Lakers woke up on the second day of their 12-day Grammys road trip after allowing a game to slip away at the end. They should have departed Phoenix with a victory, but it is in the past at this point. Minnesota is the next opposition and challenge.
Minnesota is Friday’s problem, though.
Thursday was a day to rest and regain one’s bearings in a new city.
Dwight Howard, who left Wednesday’s game with another re-aggravation of his right shoulder injury, was examined by athletic trainer Gary Vitti. Howard was listed as day-to-day.
Howard’s injury was severe enough that the big center sat on the bench silently writhing in pain while his teammates slowly and methodically lost the game. He was not in the locker room; Howard watched his team lose from the sidelines.
Still, since he was only examined and treated by Lakers’ athletic staff on Thursday, one has to believe he has a good chance of playing on Friday against Minnesota, i.e. day-to-day.
On Thursday, the Lakers were welcomed to Minnesota by some rather rash Ricky Rubio quotes praising Pau Gasol while simultaneously slamming the Lakers for their misuse of the most gifted Spanish basketball player the world has ever seen.
"[Gasol] proved to the league he is one of the best," Rubio told reporters in Minneapolis. "He can pass. He can shoot. He can rebound. He can do a lot of things. I think if you use him in the right way, he is a top player in this league. If they don't want him, we are more than welcome to get him."
"It's been the last two years that it seems like they don't want him, but actually they need him," Rubio said. "He's a great player. He can do a lot of things and he had some issues with the knees too. It's been a lot of years without resting for him. But he's a veteran. He knows how to play."
...Welcome to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the cold of January 31, 2013.