Head coach Byron Scott recently switched up the Los Angeles Lakers rotation, but one name that was noticeably absent from the new group was Tarik Black.
Black played well for the Lakers last season, but has barely seen the floor this season. Robert Sacre has been the backup center since the lineup change leading many to wonder why Black can’t get on the court.
Fans may have their answer as Black is reportedly suffering from a minor ankle injury according to Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles:
Apparently Tarik Black has a minor ankle problem, which is why Sacre got back into the rotation & Black is sitting. https://t.co/yEjRnrh4Fd
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) December 15, 2015
If this is the case, it would make a lot of sense. Black is only in his second year and would seem to have potential as a high energy backup big man, a position the Lakers have struggled with this year. The team tried Brandon Bass there, but he was simply too small, and while Sacre has played admirably, he is who he is at this point.
Black is relatively undersized as a center as well, but his long arms, athleticism, and constant energy make up for his lack of height. He averaged just under 11 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers in the month of April last season, showing that he can be a contributor.
If Black has been suffering from the injury, it would seem as if he is already recovering as he was recently sent down on assignment to the D-League along with Ryan Kelly and Anthony Brown. Black scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but also fouled out of the game.