As the injuries continue to pile up for the Lakers–Trevor Ariza the latest casualty–Coach Jackson said that certain players’ roles are bound to change. “It’s going to be one of those things,” said Jackson. “We’re just going to have to work our way through this. Unfortunately for Trevor, he was playing really well.” In Ariza’s absence, Jackson said the team will likely have to rely on Lamar Odom more at small forward.
However, Jackson did supply some rare positive news on the injury front, revealing that Vladimir Radmanovic has been able to participate in more exercises on the floor in recent days. While he has not begun running yet, Jackson said he is making solid progress. Injured center Chris Mihm has also begun more strenuous exercises and may be ready to return when the Lakers embark on their nine game road trip starting in Detroit.
In looking ahead to tonight’s game, Jackson said, “This is a game that is absolutely needed because this is a small team.” With the undersized Najera playing behind Marcus Camby, the coach said that tonight would likely present a “situation in which Ronny can play some center and probably well.”
Jackson also said he expects Kwame Brown to recover from being booed throughout the Lakers’ loss to Phoenix last Thursday. According to Jackson, there will no doubt be a certain amount of anxiety for Kwame, but the team’s willingness to look for him inside will not change.