Lakers Shootaround Report: Team Looks For Post Help

To everyone’s surprise, it was announced yesterday that all three of the Lakers big men are out for tonight’s game due to injury (Pau Gasol – concussion, Dwight Howard – right shoulder, Jordan Hill – hip). Even head coach Mike D’Antoni said at the training facility yesterday that it wasn’t until after the team’s morning film session, that he realized he’d be without his three big men. So how will the Lakers compensate tonight?

Rookie Robert Sacre flew in from the D-League yesterday to make the trip out to Houston and take the starting center position in place of Dwight Howard. He had 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in 37 minutes of play. He also made all five free throw attempts, although he did get dunked on in the paint. Plus, either Antawn Jamison or Darius Morris will be starting in place of Pau Gasol, as reported by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Once again, Metta World Peace is expected to step up in major fashion against the Houston Rockets, especially on the defensive end. Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News reported that Metta will be starting at the four on offense but will also be expected to switch off guarding the center at the other end.

The Lakers have been fighting an uphill battle since the preseason. Now, with a 15-18 record, starting a rookie who played in a D-League game yesterday and expecting Metta World Peace to guard the paint, that battle is about to get steeper. If there’s one thing Mike D’Antoni is not doing, it’s sugar-coating.

On the bright side, Kobe Bryant said yesterday that once a team hits rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. If the Lakers can make it through tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets, we might see a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.

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VIDEO: Yesterday, Kobe talked about hitting rock bottom
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