The Los Angeles Lakers have lost to the worst team in the Western Conference and the second worst team in the NBA in successive games. On New Year’s Eve, the Lakers face the worst team in the NBA.
The Milwaukee Bucks have six wins out of 30 games this season. At this point in the season, even this game is not guaranteed for the Lakers. The Bucks have lost eight of the last nine games, but the Lakers cannot catch a break.
At Tuesday’s morning shootaround, the Lakers announced that Wesley Johnson was suffering from gastroenteritis and would not be starting. Johnson’s move to the bench means Nick Young will enter the starting five. Johnson expects to be available, but his level of availability will depend entirely on how attached he is to a toilet seat by game time.
“I think Nick (Young) is one of the better players in the league,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said on Tuesday morning. “I think he can play.”
With Young starting, the Lakers will roll out their 17th new starting lineup of the season.
On a positive note, Chris Kaman took part in shootaround and expects to be available against Milwaukee. Kaman was suffering with a sprained ankle and sat out Monday’s practice. Also, Pau Gasol will return to the lineup after missing two games with an upper respiratory infection.
Kendall Marshall got his first look at extended time on the floor with the Lakers, and the point guard did well to produce.
“I thought he played well the other day,” D’Antoni said about Marshall on Tuesday. “He played well, so he’ll play again.”
Marshall has been propelled into the backup role due to unforeseen injuries that have Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake and Xavier Henry sidelined. Henry was the latest of the bunch, and his sprained knee will have him sidelined for at least seven to 10 days.
“I did tell the guys that whoever is thinking about bringing the ball across half court may not want to do that,” D’Antoni could only laugh at the Lakers’ point guard curse.
As sad as it may be to say, the Lakers have a test on Tuesday night. If they lose to the Milwaukee Bucks--the worst team in the NBA--on New Year’s Eve, it may be time to forget this season, not just this year.