Lin: Lakers a dangerous wild card without big men

Lin: Lakers a dangerous wild card without big men
January 8, 2013, 5:30 pm
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Lin thinks Lakers can be dangerous

Jeremy Lin and the Rockets don't know what to expect from the shorthanded Lakers. And that's what makes them think LA's a dangerous team.

The Lakers lost three big men during Sunday's game against the Nuggets: Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and backup center Jordan Hill.

"It was odd," Lakers' coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It was odd because you left the game and come into work thinking that they all three were healthy and had no indication whatsoever that any of them were bad (injured). And then when you get there, it just kept getting worse. First news, it was Jordan. And then, it was Dwight and then it was Pau. It's like, 'Ok, thank goodness Robert (Sacre) was in the D-League or he'd been  maybe hurt too that day."

"Especially like a team that has big injuries, they tend to play really free, really loose," Lin said. "And that's dangerous, kind of like a wild card or X-factor. You're not really sure what to expect.

"They might just come out here with an absolute sense of freedom and we want to make sure we get ready for it."

Kevin McHale also wasn't completely sure what to expect, but ventured a guess.

"They lost three of their top big guys, so I assume they're going to play small and that kind of fits into how D'Antoni's played before," McHale said. "I anticipate kind of a helter skleter, up-and-down game."

Even without their three big men, the Lakers still have proven commodities who'll be available. Both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are ready to play. When asked about whether or not there's more of a burden on those guys, D'Antoni responded that he couldn't really ask for much more from guys like Bryant, who is leading the league in scoring, but that there is now less margin for error, with less stars available to pick up the slack if someone's not on their game.