Nothing is certain for the Lakers except for injuries and evolving starting lineups.
The Lakers (13-19) will feature their 18th different combination of the season when they host the Utah Jazz (11-24) tonight at Staples Center, and the reasons vary.
Nick Young will start his second consecutive game at small forward because Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni wants to feature Wesley Johnson off the bench after just recently experiencing the stomach flu. Though D’Antoni often prefers smaller lineups to maximize floor spacing and three-point shooting, Robert Sacre will start at center while Pau Gasol shifts to power forward over Shawne Williams.
“There is no thought process,” D’Antoni joked. “We’re got to to shore our defense up. We’re going to struggle a little bit until we get our point guards back on offense. But defensively, we have to be really good. Robert is our best defender. We’re trying to clog up the paint where we’ve been lacking.”
Meanwhile, Kendall Marshall will make his first start at point guard because every other guard remains injured, including Kobe Bryant (left knee), Steve Nash (back), Steve Blake (right elbow), Jordan Farmar (left hamstring) and Xavier Henry (right knee).
To think, Marshall only arrived with the Lakers two weeks ago after toiling in the Development League. Since then, Marshall has averaged 5.3 points, 2.5 assists and two turnovers. Does he know the offense?
“No. Well, he knows as best as the other guys,” D’Antoni joked. “He picks up things really quick. I can’t throw something up on the fly, but he’ll run most of it.”
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