One day after the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off an incredible 119-108 road win over Cleveland with just four eligible players, the team was given another bad dose of injury news, as swingman Nick Young will miss a significant amount of time due to a left knee injury.
"Swaggy P" injured the knee in last night’s game at Cleveland and had an MRI exam today in Philadelphia. The MRI revealed that Young has a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise. One of the few players on the team who can consistently put up points, Young will be out a minimum of two weeks and will be re-evaluated at that time.
With Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, and Xavier Henry also out of the lineup, and with Steve Blake, Steve Nash, and Jordan Farmar just getting back from their own injuries, the Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of healthy bodies and responded today by signing Shawne Williams to a 10-day contract.
Williams, a 6’9” forward out of Memphis, most recently was a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ NBA Development League affiliate. He rejoins the Lakers after playing in 32 games (11 starts) for the club earlier this season, averaging 5.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 20.2 minutes.
In four games for the D-Fenders this year, Williams averaged 19.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 25.3 minutes. Last night, Williams scored 23 points (7-11 3FG) in a victory over the Bakersfield Jam, helping the D-Fenders set an NBA D-League record with 26 three-pointers made along with a franchise record 155 points scored.
With the loss of Young, it looks like management whiffed on not signing D-League call-up Manny Harris for the remainder of the season. The team signed him to the NBA-limit of two 10-day contracts, but declined to pursue anything further.
Harris played well in his final game, pouring in 19 points on a variety of spot-up threes and pull-up jumpers. With Young out, Harris would have been one of the few perimeter players on the roster who was somewhat capable of getting his own shot.
As for last night's game, the Lakers entered with eight players available, but saw Young and Farmar get hurt, and center Chris Kaman foul out. That left the team with five on the floor, but then center Robert Sacre fouled out with three minutes and change remaining.
Under a little known rule, Sacre was allowed to stay on the floor, but any of his subsequent personal fouls would result in an additional technical foul. Lakers guard Steve Nash, who sat out to rest his back, changed out of his street clothes and into a uniform in case his services were required.
Despite those disadvantages, the Lakers were able to pull out the win, in part because Cleveland coach Mike Brown absurdly decided -- no surprise there -- to leave star point guard Kyrie Irving on the bench during the entire fourth quarter.
Steve Blake had an 11-point, 15-assist, and 10-board triple-double to lead the way, while rookie second round pick Ryan Kelly chipped in with a career-high 26-point effort.
The unusual circumstances of this one game not only affected the Lakers roster, but also the Cleveland front office.
Today the Cavaliers fired General Manager Chris Grant and appointed Vice President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin, as Acting General Manager.
"I would like to thank Chris Grant for his eight and a half years of service with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the last three and a half as General Manager. Chris always conducted himself with class, integrity and was motivated by what he believed was right for the organization. We wish Chris and his family the best in the years to come," said owner Dan Gilbert.
Apparently, the loss to such a depleted team was too much for Gilbert to stomach. The struggles of number one overall draft choice Anthony Bennett this year and the hiring of re-tread coach Brown didn't help Grant's cause much either.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services