Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The Pacers spent Thursday preparing to play the Lakers, fully expecting Kobe Bryant to give it a go on his tender ankle.
The ankle injury he blames on Dahntay Jones may keep Bryant out against the Pacers as the Lakers star spent Thursday watching movies and furiously rehabbing the injury. Kobe is officially "out indefinitely" but the Pacers are seizing on the word indefinitely and going about their business as if Bryant will lace 'em up at the Fieldhouse, as Phillip B. Wilson reports.
"I knew the Lakers. I still know Kobe," said assistant coach Brian Shaw, a Lakers assistant from 2004-11. "I've seen him come back from some injuries that you would never think he would be able to come back from the next game. If anybody can bounce back from something like that, he can."
While Kobe attracts all of the attention, the game remains huge for the Pacers in their quest to solidify their hold on second place in the East. The Knicks lost again last night in Portland and continue to struggle with injuries. A win over the Lakers would push the Pacers lead to two games over NYK and three games over the Brooklyn Nets. After the top four, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta are currently in a dead heat for spots five through seven.
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