Rodgers Report: Bigs Fill Void Left by Barnes's Injury
When Matt Barnes went down with a LM tear, the Lakers faced the challenge of finding someone to cover Barnes's 21 minutes per game at the Small Forward position. Sunday night against the Knicks, the Lakers filled the void by playing Ron Artest a few extra minutes and trotting out a stable of bigs. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Derrick Caracter all played additional minutes. And the results were stark.
Utterly outsized, the Knicks shot just 36% from the field, were outrebounded 61 to 42 (and 17 to 7 on the offensive glass), and were held twenty-one points below their season average. Gasol, Bynum, Caracter, and Lamar Odom combined for 51 points, 39 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Meanwhile although Amar'e Stoudemire scored 23 points, he did so on 7 of 24 shooting as Andrew Bynum held him in serious check until being ejected.
Via Twitter, Barnes has suggested a timetable of eight weeks until his return. He has been one of the most consistent contributors off the pine for the Lakers, and he will surely be missed. Tonight's game provided, however, further evidence of how deep and versatile the Lakers are this season.