To understate this season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been unable to avoid injuries. As the Lakers embarked on a three-game road trip to kick off February, news that Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar were ready to return gave the Lakers hope of fielding a healthy squad.
Within one quarter of Nash and Blake returning, Jodie Meeks sprained his ankle. Within one half, Jordan Hill was out with a feared concussion. The Lakers’ injury woes continued. Then, one game later, Nick Young hurt his knee, and Farmar cramped up in his return.
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On the injury front, this was meant to be a positive week for the Lakers. Instead, the two guys that had appeared in every game this season, Hill and Meeks, missed games. No one on the Lakers has played in every game this season. Also, Pau Gasol went down and was now expected to be out a couple weeks.
In Wednesday’s win, the Lakers comically only featured three guys on the bench to start the game. In the first half, the Lakers’ reserves were constantly pictured with their legs spread and spaced out with an empty seat serving as a buffer between every seated player. Whereas the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench was the portrait of economy class seating, the Lakers’ were lounging in first class.
By the time the fourth quarter came about, the Lakers only had two guys sitting on the bench. At one point, one of two bench players went to the scorer’s table to check in at the next dead ball. Chris Kaman took the opportunity to lie across the bare Lakers’ bench. He was literally the only guy on the Lakers’ bench.
The image of the 7-footer sprawled across the bench went viral, and one could not help but remark that Kaman was literally the only guy on the Lakers' bench, and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni still didn’t want to put him in. That type of humor was outside the game, but the Lakers’ ran into a problem within the game soon after.
In reality, Kaman did play, enough so that he fouled out.
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Then, Farmar, who was making his return from a hamstring injury, began to cramp up in his calf and was no longer available to play. The Lakers were down to five players on the court with Robert Sacre in foul trouble.
Sacre’s foul trouble inevitably led to him fouling out. The Lakers were down to four healthy eligible players and two fouled out centers. Sacre was allowed to stay in the game after a technical foul was awarded to the Cavs.
After flirting with the ridiculous for a couple months, the Lakers finally hit a point where just about every fan, player and coach could audibly laugh at their injury situation. Even funnier, the Lakers somehow won the game.