Lakers News: Darvin Ham Praises Thomas Bryant For Staying Ready For His Opportunity
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There was understandably some major concern when the Los Angeles stepped on the court in the second half and Anthony Davis did not emerge from the locker room. But in the absence of his star big man, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham turned to Thomas Bryant and he delivered in a big way.

Bryant led four Lakers reserves in double figures, finishing with a season-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds and two steals as the Lakers ran away from the Denver Nuggets in the second half to come away with an 18-point victory.

Afterward, the Lakers head coach had nothing but praise for the sixth-year center. “Thomas [Bryant], my hats off to him. He’s a pro’s pro,” Ham said when asked about Bryant’s impact on the team. “Keeps himself ready, keeps himself right.

“That’s why we have play groups, stay ready groups for guys, low minute or no minute guys to continue to stay sharp. And he did that, and he came out and had a really, really huge effort against a two-time MVP and really helped us on both sides of the basketball. Just his energy and activity, his no-quit mentality. I mean, we needed that, he was a huge burst for us.”

One thing that Bryant always brings whenever he is on the court is non-stop energy and activity and that can be infectious. When Bryant is battling for every rebound and loose ball, sprinting up and down the court, it is impossible for the rest of the Lakers not to pick it up to match him.

Thanks to a preseason thumb injury, Bryant missed the first part of the season. But since returning, he has been steadily making his case to be part of Ham’s regular rotation. Any time he has been called on to step up in a bigger role he has delivered.

The severity of the injury that forced Davis to leave Friday’s game remains unclear, but there is little doubt that if Bryant is called upon to step up to a bigger role in his absence, he will be ready to deliver whatever the Lakers need of him.

Lakers hopeful Anthony Davis did not suffer significant foot injury

Of course, it was a Davis foot injury suffered in the first half of the Lakers’ win over the Nuggets that opened up the opportunity for Bryant to thrive. Considering Davis’ injury history there is obviously some concern in seeing Davis limp off the court.

The Lakers are hopeful that Davis’ injury is not a significant one, however. Nothing will be certain until an MRI is taken, but with Davis playing at such a high level, this year, the Lakers are hoping for good news.

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