Mike Trudell of Lakers.com writes that with the exception of Jordan Hill, the Lakers appear on the verge of being the healthiest they've been all season when Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are expected return to the lineup on Friday. Though Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times noted that Kobe left practice early after his ankle stiffined during scrimmages, coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters after practice that the Lakers star will be ready tomorrow. We've got a few more links to share out of the Western Conference below:
- Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki briefly discussed his NBA future with Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. When asked about playing for three more seasons: "I’m not sure about all that. We’ll just have to wait and see…Hopefully I can finish this season strong and have a good summer like I basically did last year with a lot of lifting and running and hopefully not have a setback with a surgery. We’ll see how consistent I can be again next season."
- Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles says that the Clippers are still searching for an identity at this point in the season, mostly because of how their defense has regressed since their 17-game winning streak earlier in the year.
- John Reid of NOLA.com talks with Eric Gordon about being the Hornets' go-to-scorer, becoming familiar with his teammates this year after returning from his injury, and where he is in terms of his knee rehab.
- Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com takes a look at what has motivated Warriors All-Star David Lee throughout his career, including a fear of failure.