Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma targets Friday in Dallas for return to lineup

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersCoach Frank Vogel said he’s expecting to limit Kuzma’s minutes to around 20. It’s possible that he could come off the bench. Adding an extra scorer at the forward position, where the Lakers (3-1) are particularly thin, could be a huge boost in the midst of a relatively soft portion of the schedule to start the season.“It’s a challenge, but he’s got some familiarities with the guys who were here last year, and obviously, he’s a sponge,” Vogel said. “So as we’re implementing our system throughout training camp and whatnot, he’s on the sidelines, paying attention in film sessions, those sorts of things. There’ll be a little bit of a learning curve for him, but hopefully, it doesn’t take too long.”Kuzma said his Wednesday session with the Lakers’ G League affiliate was the most running he’s done since the injury, which he suffered in August when he was playing with USA basketball. When he woke up Thursday without much soreness in his foot, he took it as a positive omen.Kuzma has tried to maintain his conditioning through assorted activities that limit the strain on his feet: swimming, an underwater treadmill, an Alter-G treadmill and an upper body ergometer. In the meantime, he’s also done skill work with assistant Phil Handy, which he felt has helped improve his footwork and ball-handling.“I’m going to bring it out if I play,” he said. “I feel good. Up and down, I feel like I’m myself, but the conditioning aspect – playing more than three, four or five possessions – trying to get up and down, that’s going to take a little bit of time. But I think once I get my legs and conditioning, people will see me.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions The addition of Kuzma, who averaged 18.7 points per game last season, is expected to take some of the scoring burden off of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Vogel has had to work to stagger his two stars in the first four games to keep a scorer on the floor. Several players, including Kuzma, have also been excited about the prospect of a lineup with Davis playing center and Kuzma playing power foward alongside him and James.Davis said he’s admired Kuzma’s work ethic during his recovery so far and is even more excited to start playing together.“With his scoring ability, his ability to draw defenders’ eyes, he’s able to take pressure off of everyone,” Davis said. “That’s why we’re so excited to have him back. We can put Kuz on the floor and know he can go get a bucket for us and also be able to defend on the other end. It’s a good problem to have. We have a lot of guys who can score the basketball, create for themselves. When you have that, it takes a burden off everyone’s shoulders.”In other injury news: Davis said his right shoulder, which was sore during Tuesday’s game against Memphis, was feeling better. The Lakers kept him out of the contact portion of practice on Thursday, but Vogel expected him to play Friday against the Mavericks.Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo has been ruled out for Friday’s game, even though he’s traveling on the three-game trip. The Lakers have reduced his workload in the last week since an MRI confirmed a calf strain in his right leg. The team has described his recovery timetable as “day-to-day.”LAKERS GO SPOOKY, SPOOFY IN HALLOWEEN COSTUMESWhile the team flew to Dallas on Thursday afternoon ahead of traditional trick-or-treating hours, many players celebrated in elaborate costumes at a party that James invited teammates to attend.James, who famously goes all-out for Halloween, said he spent three-and-a-half hours getting in makeup and wardrobe for his Edward Scissorhands costume. The one regret he had about his choice was that having scissors for hands made it difficult to hold a drink during the festivities.“I felt like my wife for a change with hair and makeup and all that stuff it takes for her to get ready,” he said of the lengthy preparation. “But yeah, it was a long process, but it was very fun.”Some of the other costumes the Lakers donned: Joker (Anthony Davis, paying tribute to the Jared Leto “Suicide Squad” version), Beetlejuice (JaVale McGee), The Penguin (trainer Mike Mancias), rapper Blueface (Kyle Kuzma), Dwight Schrute from “The Office” (Alex Caruso) and Rasputia from “Norbit” (Dwight Howard, which Kuzma called “elite”). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs EL SEGUNDO — He’s a little bit less conditioned than he’d like to be, but it’s to be expected after two-and-a-half months out of the game.Nevertheless, when Kyle Kuzma took the court on Thursday for his first live-contact practice with his Lakers teammates this season, they were able to recognize the hallmarks of his game. It has drummed up some excitement for his expected season debut on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers’ first true road game of the year.“Obviously he’s been training and working out, but like I always tell you guys there’s no substitution for game fatigue and game stamina,” LeBron James said. “That will come, though. It’s great to have him back on the floor. We definitely missed him.”Kuzma has made a big leap in his recovery in the last week, ramping up from four-on-four half-court work with coaches, to a South Bay Lakers practice on Wednesday, to a full team practice on Thursday. Assuming he feels fully recovered from his stress reaction in his foot following Friday’s shootaround in Dallas, he’ll play in the game.last_img read more

U.S. Warns Americans Against International Travel Due to Virus

first_imgPresident Trump’s administration Thursday afternoon upgraded its warning to Americans against all international travel as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.The State Department has issued a new alert which urges Americans not to travel abroad under any circumstances and to return home if they are already abroad, unless they are planning to remain overseas for the foreseeable future.“The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19,” the alert reads. “In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.”Before the upgraded warning, the department’s advice to U.S. citizens was to “reconsider” all international travel under a “level three” alert. The new, global “level four” warning is typically reserved for specific countries embroiled in conflict, natural disasters or where Americans face specific risks.However, the upgrade is not mandatory, and there are currently limited transportation options for international travel. The only way to ban Americans from traveling abroad would be to invalidate the use of U.S. passports, a ban that is currently in place only for North Korea.In addition, the main impact of such travel alerts is to cause insurance companies to increase customers’ premiums or to cancel travel policies for group and individual tours. Many of those had already been cancelled before the alert was raised to level three earlier this week.On a related note, the State Department has already advised Americans that many U.S. embassies and consulates around the world are operating with reduced staff and hours due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and that services for Americans who are in need of assistance are limited.last_img read more