It’s been a difficult season for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have dealt with a rash of injuries that prevented any sort of continuity being developed and they were the first team mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
With the season coming to a close, head coach Mike D’Antoni has been developing the young talent on the roster such as Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly. Despite having a poor performance against the Mavericks, D’Antoni praised Sacre’s offensive repertoire according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
D’Antoni says Sacre “has it all” “a little jump hook, the jump shot, and the foul shot, but now he has to get a better feel for the game”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) April 5, 2014
With an opportunity to play more minutes this season, Sacre has seen an increase in several statistic categories, including points and rebounds per game; up to 5.1 and 3.7, respectively. During his rookie season in 2012, Sacre played in just 32 games and averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. As this season wore on, D’Antoni often referenced the future and needing to develop young players like Ryan Kelly and Sacre, whom D’Antoni seemed to believe would factor into success down the line.
Heading into a summer in which the Lakers will have plenty of cap space available and are expecting a lottery pick in the 2014 draft, Sacre is one of three players, along with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, who are under contract for the 2014-2015 season. How much of an impact the reserve center will have moving forward remains to be seen, but if Sacre has the skill set D’Antoni believes he does, the Lakers may have themselves a role player on an inexpensive contract.
Lakers vs. Mavericks: Robert Sacre on Pau Gasol’s Leadership, Steve Nash’s Passing