Head Coach Mike D’Antoni On Robert Sacre: He Can Play

Head Coach Mike D’Antoni On Robert Sacre: He Can Play


In the Lakers 99-94 win over the Brooklyn Nets, Robert Sacre played eight minutes for the Lakers in the first half — his first game minutes since since recording six in a blowout win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Before that, Sacre had only recorded a combined 13 minutes in blowout losses to the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks.

With Chris Kaman sitting out the last few games due to back soreness, many wondered if Sacre would find his way into the rotation, and he did tonight recording two points, a rebound and a block in his first eight minutes of meaningful basketball this season. Head coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters after the game that Sacre earned tonight’s minutes.

“He can give us something that we need. He gives us great interior defense. He’s a big body and he’s worked his behind off. He’s been getting more athletic. We’ve been talking about it for two weeks, he can play. If he can play, it’s up to me in the sense that I have to have enough courage to go ahead and do it.”

Should Sacre continue to play well in practice, he could find himself playing a more defined role off the bench — especially if reserve forward Shawne Williams continues to struggle in his role.

Williams played 25 minutes tonight and shot 1-7 from the field, 1-5 from three point land with four points and 10 rebounds. The night before against Washington, he was 1-7 from the field and 0-4 from three. Williams was brought in to stretch the floor, but is only shooting .328 from three point range on the season, and has only been shooting .219 over the last five games.

Sacre could also receive spot minutes if D’Antoni is going to cut down the minutes of Pau Gasol. Gasol has been averaging nearly 35 minutes over the last seven games after only recording about 27.9 over the first nine. Kaman’s injury issues have had a lot to do with Gasol’s rise in minutes, but an improving Sacre can cut down on that until Kaman is fully healthy.

Regardless of the reason, it won’t hurt to have an extra body that can contribute in spot minutes over the course of an 82-game season.

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  • Kanth


  • Daryl Peek

    I find it interesting that the game Kaman is cleared to resume basketball activity Sacre get Pt?!?

    • Gregory Choa

      Yes, that was a little strange…not sure what’s going on with Kaman. I thought Tuesday night’s game against the Wizards would’ve been a better time for D’Antoni to “have enough courage” to get some playing time for Sacre, as Nene and Marcin Gortat were running all over Gasol & Hill.

    • Terrence

      Kaman’s had injury problems throughout his career. They’re probably just taking it slow with him.

    • Paytc

      I have not seen anything from Sacre that has impressed me. But in truth I have only seen about perhaps half of this seasons games.

      Did Sacre play well recently? I do think Kaman has a good shooting touch and he will battle inside.

      • Daryl Peek

        Nothing special from Sacre at all. Very peculiar move by MDA? I wonder if it has anything to do with Kaman calling out the small ball earlier this season when he was lobbying for PT along side of Gasol? Kaman was showing some frustration with his limited PT at the time

        • Paytc

          All we can do is speculate? I think MDA has done a good job with getting all the players except Harris,and Kelly some play time. It was at the expense of winning a few games, but a risk he had to take to see what rotations he liked best?

          I don’t always agree with the rotations,but the coach has a better perspective of the big picture he has in mind for the team and players.

          The team again just has to keep “STEPPING UP ” as individual players so the load is not piled on 1 or 2 players.
          Strong individuals make a strong “team”.

          If we can be at or above 500 when Kobe returns I think we will be in position to make the playoffs.

          Then it is about peaking at the right time and being healthy.

          Go Lakers !

          • Daryl Peek

            Oh, I’m not questioning D’Antoni’s rotations at all. I’m just very curious about the Kaman thing given he’s now healthy again. Chris and Pau seemed to have some good chemistry in the preseason but MDA has rarely gone to that in the regular season.

            MDA has done well given the mad scientist mode he’s had to be in with all these new raw players. Starting Jordan Hill is a big concession by MDA given his penchant for a stretch 4.

        • hookedonnews

          I agree that Kaman has done a little too much talking plus he’s turned the ball over quite a bit. Kaman didn’t play much the last half of his last season in Dallas. I’m thinking Rick Carlisle might not have been happy with him for whatever reason. Maybe D’Antoni didn’t want to rush him back into action even though he had been cleared. There’s always a lot going on that we don’t know about.

      • Joseph Apohen

        Kaman is a far superior player than Sacre. The move is strange and it could undermine team chemistry. Sacre will have his time; however, at that time Lakers led by as much as 27 points. MDA must have thought it was safe to give Sacre some experience. I can’t second guess Mike too much as the team is 8/8, better than I expected.

        • hookedonnews

          I think he was just rewarding Sacre for hard work and good play in practice by giving him some minutes in a blowout.

    • Joseph Apohen

      When Sacre played and Farmar was sent to the bench, that was the beginning of the Lakers downslide. At that time the team was playing so well with Farmar being out of his mind with 3 threes in a row? Sometimes I don’t understand why players must be subbed just because it is in the middle of the first quarter or whatever quarter it might be. Before Farmar came in in the first quarter, Blake had some great assists, specifically to Johnson and Meeks. Then he was taken out. I don’t think he was tired. Luckily, Farmar was hot as he has been the last three games. I believe in keeping the player in for as long as he is hot.

      • hookedonnews

        That’s why he’s coaching, and we’re not. It’s the job of the coach to manage minutes, and defense is also a factor in some of these decisions. I thought D’Antoni managed the last minutes of that game extremely well with the substitutions he made. This being the 2nd of a back-to-back may have been a factor plus players expect to get a certain number of minutes and are prone to get unhappy when they don’t get them. I’ve seen that attitude more than once. If MDA had left Blake in, someone would have been complaining because Farmar had been so hot the night before. You can’t please everyone.

        • Joseph Apohen

          At some point Blake would have been tired and that’s when a relief should come in. I think Farmar would have understood, but I understand your point. As I said I am happy with MDA who has done a great job with the so called rejects. However, these players were high draft picks in the past who just did not click with whomever drafted them. Looks like they found the style that they like and are happy they have another chance.

      • roseducanna

        FARMA tired at last 4mins of 4 quarter. Because coach give him play from last 3mins of 3 quarter. Total he play 15mins. Let him relax before he play last 4mins with BLACK,GASOL,HILL and YONG.

        • Joseph Apohen

          If a player gets tired he will no longer function well. That would be the time to replace him. Who is BLACK?

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Man we should trade Chris Kaman if we are not going to use him.Sacre is ready.

  • Al Haldie

    SACRE only needs some real game time-at least he works hard -and should play…its good for gasol to have some rest

  • 2Pac

    Chris Kaman is damn ready and full healthy but D’antoni wont play him, this is MADNESS !

    • hookedonnews

      And you know this how? I’m sure Kaman will be back on the floor, but there’s no point in putting him back out there if he’s not 100%. It’s time to realize that this coach knows what he’s doing. As fans we’re not privy to half the information that the coaches have. The Nets game should have been a blowout without Kaman. I have no doubt we’ll see him soon. Kaman had some problems in Dallas that I’m not privy to, but he didn’t get a lot of playing time the 2nd half of that last season in Dallas. Maybe there’s a reason for that.

      • Joseph Apohen

        Good point.

  • petron_run&gun


  • vdogg

    it’s good to have another option off the bench. glad to hear that sacre is working hard and that it’s paying off. shawne williams hasn’t been shooting well of late, but i think his shot will come around. besides, williams is actually rebounding well and defending well. when kobe comes back, meeks should come off the bench because we HAVE to keep wes johnson in the starting lineup. he is far too athletic to not use on offense (his chemistry with blake is great) and he is our best one-on-one defender. meeks will only make the bench that much better. henry might be the one whose minutes get cut down with kobe coming back. farmar, meeks, swaggy, wiliams, scare, henry, kaman… mike d has a lot of choices with his reserve unit.

  • Martin Susman

    The Lakers NEED to somehow someway get Monroe form the Pistoins. Detroit knows he will not resign with them & they know he will be leaving meaning get something now or nothing later. Put a package of Pau Gasol & Steve Blake or Pau Gasol & Wesley Johnson or all three of them & get Monroe who coulkd hold that spot for the forseeable future.

    • vdogg

      you’re kidding yourself. will never happen. besides, i wouldn’t give up any of those players for monroe. just one man’s opinion.

    • nlruizjr

      3 for 1, how stupid is that !!!!

    • Daryl Peek

      The salaries don’t come close to allowing any of those trade scenario’s to work. Dollar for dollar, players for players must be equal in trades.