Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Short bench again in Utah
By Dave McMenamin
As if going on the road to play the second night of a back to back isn't taxing enough, the Lakers will be without three of their key reserves for the second consecutive game.
Backup big men Josh McRoberts (sprained big toe on his left foot) and Troy Murphy (gastroenteritis) are out of commission and backup shooting guard Jason Kapono was given permission by head coach Mike Brown to stay with his wife, Ashley, back in L.A. and be with his newborn twin daughters, Isla and Campbell.
"I was the guy that made the decision to tell him to stay back with his family and I think it’s important when those things [come up]," said Brown, who has two sons of his own. "Those are like once, twice, 3-4 times maybe, depending on how many you want (laughing) in a lifetime experience. I think it’s very important to show support, especially to your wife because we’re gone a lot. I know my wife plays mother and father a lot of times when I’m on the road. So, to me, it’s only human to allow that to happen. I’m OK with it."
Brown said he abandoned scouting trips to be with his wife, Carolyn, when she gave birth to his sons, Elijah and Cameron.
With his substitutes out, Brown was left to focus on getting the most out of his Lakers' family.
Luke Walton went from playing 10 total minutes in three appearances this season to playing 26 minutes at backup power forward against Phoenix, racking up six points, eight rebounds and three assists.
When asked if Brown would go with Walton again, he said, "We'll see."
He could also give more time to Metta World Peace at power forward, who he complimented for grabbing seven rebounds in just 20 minutes against the Suns. Or Brown could experiment with Devin Ebanks at the 4 position. Ebanks has fallen out of the rotation since Matt Barnes won the starting small forward role from him.
Rookie Andrew Goudelock will assume Kapono's minutes as Kobe Bryant's backup at 2-guard. Goudelock had zero points and two turnovers in nine minutes against Phoenix.
The Lakers have another back-to-back on the horizon this week when they host Cleveland on Friday then play a "road" game against the Clippers on Saturday.
Brown expects to have Kapono back by then, but is not sure about Murphy's and McRoberts' statuses for those games.
"We could [have them in the lineup]," Brown said. "I don’t want to say yes because nothing is guaranteed with the other two guys."