SAN ANTONIO — It did not take long for the Lakers to adjust to life without Kobe Bryant.
Lakers coach Byron Scott pledged he will wait until Bryant has a reexamination on Monday on the torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder to decide whether he will have season-ending surgery. But that did stop Scott from shuffling his lineup completely that will include rookie guard Jordan Clarkson (point guard), Wayne Ellington (shooting guard), Ryan Kelly (small forward), Jordan Hill (power forward) and Robert Sacre (center).
The most notable change involved Clarkson, who will make his first career start in his hometown over veteran guard Ronnie Price.
“I want to see him in a bigger role,” Scott said. “We have to find out if he can play. I think he can and believe he can. But I need him to have some extended minutes in an extended role for an extended period of time to really get a good idea if he can or not.”
There are other notable changes. Jordan Hill shifted from starting center to power forward. Ed Davis lost his starting center spot to backup center Robert Sacre partly because rookie center Tarik Black missing his second consecutive game because of a sprained right ankle. . Wesley Johnson lost his starting small forward spot to Kelly. Ellington had started at shooting guard in all eight games Bryant had missed this season.
But most of the focus centers on the point guard spot. Scott conceded uncertainty where Price and Jeremy Lin fall on the point guard depth chart.
“I’m not weighing anything,” Scott said. “I’m going by the seat of my pants.”