This year has been a challenging one for Christian Wood as despite averaging 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Dallas Mavericks last season, he was forced to sign a minimum contract with the Los Angeles Lakers late in free agency.
The Lakers had a need at the center position that Wood felt he could fill, although his minutes to this point have been very inconsistent. Wood’s first season with the Lakers has entailed bouncing in and out of head coach Darvin Ham’s rotation.
Wood has not appeared in three of the Lakers’ seven games during December, including the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals and championship game. He played very limited minutes in the semifinals.
With the Lakers dealing with some injuries though, Wood rejoined the rotation on the road trip and gave quality minutes in back-to-back games against the San Antonio Spurs. Wood had nine points and six rebounds in 21 minutes on Wednesday and then followed it up with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in 30 minutes in Friday’s loss in San Antonio.
Bouncing in and out of the rotation can definitely be challenging for a player, but Wood said his focus has been on being ready to go whenever his number is called, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“Just got to be ready. Stay ready. That’s been the motto for me all season, just be ready when the guys aren’t playing. I think I did that tonight.”
Wood also praised the Lakers coaching staff and teammates for constantly communicating with him so he is prepared at all times:
“I’m usually always prepared. I’ve been in this situation before, not recently but maybe like four or five years ago, but always just being prepared and staying ready in constant communication with Bron, AD, D-Ham. They always keep me in the loop so whether I player or whether I don’t play, I’ll always be ready.”
The backup center position has been an issue for the Lakers this season as despite Wood and Jaxson Hayes giving quality minutes at times, they are both undersized and struggle to deal with some of the bigger centers in the league.
Wood finding a rhythm offensively would be big for the Lakers moving forward, although he will need to get consistent minutes to make that happen and it remains to be seen if that will be the case.
Christian Wood wants to do ‘little things’ for Lakers
Playing in a limited role, Wood knows that he has to contribute in ways other than scoring to help the Lakers. He recently discussed his desire to do all the ‘little things’ during his minutes, which should earn him more playing time if he is successful.
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