Lakers’ Troy Murphy May Start at Center vs. Nets

After an absolutely dreadful performance from Kobe Bryant against the New Orleans Hornets in which he shot 3-for-21, the Black Mamba was able to immediately bounce back with yet another 40-point performance in the win over the Golden State Warriors, 120-112.

Despite getting back on track with a win at home against the Warriors, the Lakers may have suffered a minor setback with All-Star center Andrew Bynum rolling his left ankle. Early indications are that Bynum’s left ankle was only moderately sprained, but there is a chance that he could miss some time in order to make sure he is ready come playoff time.

With Andrew Bynum potentially out with the sprained ankle on Tuesday night against the New Jersey Nets, Lakers head coach Mike Brown might go with veteran forward Troy Murphy as his starting center. Even though Murphy hasn’t gotten considerable playing time this season and is only averaging 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds as a result, the NBA journeyman played well in place of Bynum after he went down on Sunday night (eight points, 11 rebounds) and will have an opportunity to show what he can do with more minutes on the floor on Tuesday at Staples Center.

Troy Murphy talked about Bynum’s injury and potentially more time on the floor via Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times:

“Hopefully he gets back soon, but I’m just ready to play whenever I have to,” said Murphy, who had eight points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. “It’s difficult going in and playing three or four minutes at a time like I’ve been doing the last few weeks. Any time you can get in there and get up and down the court more often, you feel comfortable.”

The recently acquired forward/center Jordan Hill is still recovering from spraining a ligament in his right knee last week. Hill hasn’t been ruled out for Tuesday’s game, but chances are he will remain on the sidelines.

It’s a shame that Hill just hasn’t been able to get on the floor consistently for the Lakers since being dealt by the Houston Rockets. The possibility of Bynum going down like this is one of the reasons the Lakers pulled the trigger on the trade in the first place, giving the team some insurance in the frontcourt.

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