Kobe Bryant And Pau Gasol to Start - Lakers Shootaround - NBC Southern California
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Kobe Bryant And Pau Gasol to Start - Lakers Shootaround

The Los Angeles Lakers met for morning shootaround on Friday morning before playing the Washington Wizards Friday night, and coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters that Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant both expected to start against the Wizards.



    Ahead of the Washington Wizards coming to Staples Center, Dwight Howard talked to media about the return of Pau Gasol at Los Angeles Lakers morning shootaround. (Published Friday, March 22, 2013)

    At Friday morning Lakers shootaround, Mike D’Antoni confirmed that Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol would both be starting on Friday night against the Washington Wizards.

    Gasol practiced full court 4-on-4 on Wednesday and 5-on-5 full court on Thursday, and the Spaniard’s injured foot reacted well enough that D’Antoni felt comfortable telling the small contingent of reporters that Gasol would “probably” start on Friday night.

    “Starting [Gasol] will probably be better because he will be warmed up and ready to go a few minutes, then take him out,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll play it by ear after that.”

    D’Antoni admitted that Gasol’s return would change the entire team's minutes, but he said Earl Clark would be the player most immediately impacted. Clark will now return to playing small forward off the bench. With Gasol out, Clark was often playing power forward or even center.

    Dwight Howard Jokes About Healthy Lakers

    [LA] Funny Dwight Howard T.O. Impression Lakers
    At Los Angeles Lakers practice on March 21, 2013, Dwight Howard shows everyone he's having fun with the healthy Lakers in a funny way by impersonating Terrell Owens crying.
    (Published Thursday, March 21, 2013)

    The Lakers’ coach also said that Antawn Jamison will be the first player off the bench when Gasol runs out of gas.

    When asked about Bryant, D'Antoni responded that he believed Bryant would start. Bryant had hinted as much on his Twitter account.

    Dwight Howard also spoke to media at the morning shootaround, and his spirits have been elevated over the past few days. Along with doing a funny crying Terrell Owens impression at Thursday’s practice, Howard had told reporters that the first unit outscored the second unit 28-0 in a scrimmage.

    Roggin: Will Pau Gasol's Return To Lakers Disrupt Chemistry?

    [LA] Roggin's Rants: Will Pau Gasol's Return Disrupt Chemistry?
    Friday's game against the Washington Wizards is going to be a big test for Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. The Lakers have been playing well without previously injured Pau Gasol, so D'Antoni will have to prove whether he's changed the system enough to let Gasol succeed. Fred Roggin reports on March 21, 2013.
    (Published Tuesday, June 18, 2013)

    When asked how accurate Howard was in his statistics, D’Antoni said it was “30 something, so he just missed out by about 10 points.”

    D’Antoni was quick to dismiss the practice performance, but the team appeared to be in good spirits entering the final 13 games of an unbelievably unlucky season.