In what has been a disappointing 2013-2014 season, the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had many bright moments. It’s been another year essentially lost to injuries, led by, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Several other Lakers including, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol, have also been sidelined by injury.
However, despite being in the midst of a three-game stretch where they have allowed an average of 136 points per game, Mike D’Antoni has seen progress in Robert Sacre and believes it’s key for the future, according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
D’Antoni said Sacre’s progress is one of the “little victories” LA needs “to go forward with what the franchise wants to do in the future”
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) March 8, 2014
D’Antoni’s comments come on the heels of Sacre playing 18 minutes in the 134-126 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday. In the loss, Sacre scored eight points, pulled down eight rebounds and had one blocked shot. The second-year center was one of the more active players on defense, among a group that routinely allowed Ty Lawson and other Nuggets to score at will.
The notion that D’Antoni believes Sacre is a victory this season comes as somewhat of a surprise when considering Sacre’s playing time has been sporadic, to say the least. Throughout the season, it hasn’t been uncommon for Sacre to log double-digit minutes in two or three consecutive games, only to be followed by hardly playing or not playing, in the following games. After not getting on the floor much in the last week of February, March has been a different story for Sacre. In four games this month, Sacre is averaging just under 18 minutes per game. Not considered an offensive threat, Sacre is averaging just over eight points in the four games on 56 percent shooting from the field.
As one of the few Lakers players who is under contract for next season, whether or not Sacre will continue to see consistent minutes as the season winds down remains to be seen. What can’t be questioned is if Sacre, who spoke on the Lakers needing to improve on defense, will bring the nightly effort.
Lakers Vs.Clippers: Coach D’Antoni Says, “Everyone Know’s We’re Embarrassed”