Lakers miss three bigs on road
The Los Angeles Lakers (15-18) are already on a tough spot, having lost four of their last five games and dropping to the 11th spot in the Western Conference. Blame the injuries, age, coaching changes or chemistry issues, nothing seems to be going the Los Angeles Lakers’ way this season despite showcasing a star-studded roster with enough motivation behind heft payrolls.
“It's kind of weird coming to work thinking you have three centers, and all three of them are,” said Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni after announcing Monday’s practice as cancelled. "(But) the NBA is unforgiving, and nobody is feeling sorry for us…We've got to do the best we can do hurt on the same day."
Dwight Howard has hardly lived up to his reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year status, missing five early season games after back surgery and again being ruled out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. The 26-year-old Dwight Howard initially sustained the shoulder injury in last Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clipper and aggravated it again in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets. An MRI scan Monday showed Dwight Howard has a torn labrum in his right shoulder. While Dwight Howard indicated he will be sidelined for a week before having the injury reevaluated, initial diagnosis proves there is no need for surgery.
"It depends on how fast I heal up…the biggest thing right now is I have to make sure I'm 100 percent,” said Dwight Howard on Monday. “I don't want to play with my shoulder weak. I'd have a chance for more injuries. I've got to let it heal up."
Meanwhile, while the medical staff confirmed Pau Gasol escaped without a broken nose after taking an Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee’s elbow to the face in the final minutes of Sunday’s game, test indicated that the Los Angeles Lakers bigman had a concussion. Pau Gasol had dealt with plantar fasciitis through the season while struggling to adapt to Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Coming off a rejuvenated performance against the Denver Nuggets, Pau Gasol had 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks while logging 34 minutes in the game.
The Los Angeles Lakers backup center Jordan Hill will miss time due to a right hip injury also sustained in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets. Despite struggling with a sprained right ankle and herniated back, Jordan Hill has been a consistent contributor off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds.
The Los Angeles Lakers are up for a grilling stretch of four games in six days, including back-to-back road games starting off against Houston Rockets on Tuesday followed by San Antonio Spurs the next day.
The team could bring up rookie Robert Sacre up from the D-League to play center, after recently clearing up roster space by waiving Antawn Jamison. Mike D’Antoni indicated that the 6-foot-7 Metta World Peace could also share time at center.
"We'll go small a lot, and we'll just have to spread the floor and get things done. Some guys are going to have to step up and put some superhuman effort into it,’ said Mike D'Antoni. “We'll have some little guys guarding big guys, and we'll have to be quick. We'll have to take advantage of other situations."