At morning shootaround, the Los Angeles Lakers shook up their lineup once again. For the seventh time in as many games and the 18th time this season, the Los Angeles Lakers will put out a starting lineup that has never started together.
In a defensive move, the Lakers are starting Robert Sacre alongside Pau Gasol. Also, Kendall Marshall will make his first start for the Lakers and expects to play heavy minutes as he is currently the only Laker on the roster. Jodie Meeks and Nick Young will retain their starting spots.
“We got to shore our defense up,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said on Friday morning. “We’re going to struggle a little bit until we get our point guards back, offensively, but defensively we got to be really good. Robert (Sacre is) our best defender.”
D’Antoni also revealed that Ryan Kelly and Shawne Williams have been experimenting with playing some small forward, but the coach said “that wouldn’t be ideal” when discussing the option.
Kelly is more likely to play small forward, and he slotted into that position during the Lakers’ last game.
“Just watching him in practice, he knows how to play,” D’Antoni said about Kelly. “I thought he was ready to go. He’s earned minutes.”
Looking around the gym, Kobe Bryant was doing some light stationary shooting. Steve Blake was taking part in shooting drills with a terminator arm protecting his injured elbow and Steve Nash was shooting jump shots.
Lakers PR announced that Nash will not travel with the team on its upcoming elongated East coast Grammys' road trip. Instead, Nash will travel to Vancouver to get some more physical therapy work done. Upon the team’s return to Los Angeles, Nash will return to LA and face reevaluation. He is targeting an early February return.
“First week of February makes sense after a week of practice,” Nash said at shootaround. “Again, it’s all super speculative at this point because it’s such a weird tricky dimension when you’re talking about this nerve issue.”
Somewhere mixed into all the injury talk and disbelief, the Lakers actually play a game on Friday night.