A sneak-peak at tomorrow’s story tonight …
With the veteran Steve Blake sidelined for up to a month because of a fracture of the cartilage where the ribs meet the sternum, Lakers coach Mike Brown planned to turn to the rookie Morris as a replacement. Brown said there was no Plan B.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in him until he screws up,” Brown said of Morris before the Lakers renewed their Hallway Series rivalry with the Clippers at Staples Center. “It’s probably just going to be Darius and Fish.”
Fish is Derek Fisher, the Lakers’ 37-year-old starting point guard. As Fisher’s backup, Blake is averaging 7.3 points and 2.8 assists in 12 games, tops among the Lakers’ substitutes. Fisher is averaging 24.8 minutes; Blake is averaging 24.3.
“He’s good enough to start for a lot of other teams,” Brown said of Blake. “There are times late in games when he’s on the floor with our first unit. I can go on and on about him. It’s a big blow for us. Another guy is going to step up to get it done.”
For now that guy is Morris, a Los Angeles native who was a standout at Windward High before playing two seasons at Michigan before the Lakers selected him in the second round (41st overall) of the NBA draft last June.