Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Theo Ratliff and Derrick Caracter to have increased roles during Andrew Bynum's absence

The Lakers would have preferred not to be in this position, especially this soon. But they structured their roster so the team would be ready in case it happened.

With Lakers center Andrew Bynum expected to miss the entire preseason -- and in Phil Jackson's estimation the first two to three weeks of the regular season because of rehabilitation efforts after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this off-season -- the next two months should feature a lot of shuffling in the roster.

Afforded an entire off-season of rest, Pau Gasol will see more time on the floor. Lamar Odom, fresh off a stint with Team USA's FIBA World Championship run, in which he played center, could see time at the 3, 4 and 5 spots. And this could also give the Lakers an opportunity to see how more of a perimeter-oriented lineup would look when the size advantage doesn't prove to be a necessity.

But more than likely, Bynum's absence will lead to increased court time for rookie Derrick Caracter and 37-year-old veteran Theo Ratliff. Each of them enter this scenario in different circumstances.

"I just have to mentally focus in," said Caracter, whom the Lakers drafted out of Texas El Paso with their 58th pick. "Mentally, I have to do the same thing that got me here and do the same thing now and even more. Focus in on learning the triangle and the different options out of it, and stepping in and being confident."

"There's no pressure," said Ratliff, a 15-year veteran who signed with the Lakers this off-season for a one-year, $1.35-million contract. "I'm going to go out there and do the things I've been doing my whole career, play defense and make sure I stay in the offense."

Jackson seems uncertain as to how he'll structure their roles during Bynum's absence. He doesn't want to play Ratliff too long because of his age. But Jackson is unsure if that's possible if Caracter's not effective in the post. This won't make or break the team, per se. After all, if it comes down to it, Gasol and Odom can handle most of the load. But Ratliff's and Caracter's performance this preseason could dictate how comfortable Jackson will feel going deep into the rotation during the regular season and whether the Lakers have the depth to handle events such as another Bynum injury.

"That's really got to be played out," Jackson said. "We have to brace ourselves to bring this team along the right way and we'll find out who can play those positions."

The uncertainty stems from the fact that the Lakers value Ratliff more for his veteran leadership and defensive prowess than any offensive contributions. For example, Ratliff appeared to experience quite a challenge by the Lakers' younger frontline in Tuesday's practice. He even missed a dunk. The Lakers selected Caracter knowing his potential is still untapped, given his ongoing effort in shedding weight and improving his post work. He exhibited questionable ball handling during Tuesday's practices, but made effective moves, including an impressive reverse layup through a slew of traffic.

But those are just snapshots and don't provide anything definitive. An exhibition against Minnesota in London on Monday will provide more answers.

--Mark Medina

[email protected]

Comments () | Archives (52)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Good morning everyone!

I just realized that I will be in London on Monday (starting graduate school that week).

MM - since you have excellent sleuthing skills, would you happen to know how I might be able to get tickets to that game? I actually might head on over, considering that I'll be arriving in England on Sunday.



MM -

I just found out that the game is sold out in London, but I'll try to get something through a stub-hub type of business. If I do, I'll e-mail you some pictures from the game.

For all the Bynum doubters and bashers, isn't watching our 2 new bigs play actually something to look forward to? I know that I'm looking forward to it for the meaningless early season practice games that the team will be without Andrew. The other thing to look forward to is Bynum's return. Both of these things excite me.

MM -

Just scratch the idea of me going to the game out there. I saw the price of a nosebleed ($380), and that's WAY out of my price range.

MobeMVP888 -

I'll have to wholeheartedly agree with you; I'm looking forward to both.

bynum could rest until beginning of playoffs


Whats with this Bynum coulda woulda shoulda rest? Isn't he being paid to report to duty and ready to contribute. Perhaps rest of the team should also rest until June, why bother, just turn on the faucet come playoff time and see it it works.

Did the games start? Oops that's just me having a basketball jones.

Caliphilosopher: Good luck in London! I hope that you can find some decent sports bars to catch a couple of games... either that, or invest in the NBA League Pass, right? It's probably a dumb question -- considering your blog moniker -- but what are you studying, specifically, over there?

KobeMVP888: I couldn't agree with you more. The pre-season is all the more exciting with this year's rookies. I think we might be pleasantly surprised. We'll get to watch the regular starting line-up dominate the league post-All-Star break. Until then, we'll dominate with the deepest bench in the NBA.

Go Lake Show!

@UTZ… This was masterful ROFLMAO!
Posted by: Old Hippy | September 29, 2010 at 09:36 AM
Posted by: utzworld | September 29, 2010 at 09:45 AM

Off topic but more funny videos

Careful for language.


Portland drafted Sam Bowie over MJ and rest is history.

MJ won 6 titles with centers like Luc Longley, Bill Wennington.

Trade Bynum for Kevin Durant (22yrs) and repeat MJ's legacy!

@Tom - 131-92 smacks better.

Wow, that was a lot of good music at the end of the previous thread, there's some really knowledgeable music fans on this blog. So much good music, so little time...


I like a wide variety of stuff but it's just that CCR is old favorite more than those others you listed.


Mr Bojangles was also an old favorite, I really like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band version too.

Laker Tom,

Your story about Linda R was really cool, I'm jealous, I would love to have met her. I think she was probably my first favorite female vocalist.

That blog trade suggested by UTZ was a good one, might be kinda fun to able to trade off bloggers that aren't Laker fans, but I don't think I want to go down that road. Imagine what that could stir up!!

Hey, MM. Re your comment on Odom above, he was the starting center of Team USA, not the back-up.


At the age of 22 Kevin Durant has already made the all star, led his team to NBA playoff, led USA team to world title and makes his team a legit contender, while lakers have had to babysit Bynum and keep their fingers crossed for a miracle.

In the mean time back at the ranch, posters have made a legend out of Bynum , go figure!!!

drew for kd?? now who exactly in the ok- city office would even consider something so ............. sorry, but back on the third planet from the sun, the nba is about to begin with worldwide interests. which is why i can't understand why there is no televised, even tape delay (remember those days?) of the games in spain.

Can I issue a cease and desist order for Old Hippy?

What makes everyone so sure that Bynum could even be remotely attractive in a deal for Kevin Durant?

Kevin Durant is babysteps away from being a bonafide superstar spoken in the same light as Kobe and Lebron.

Bynum is all results. He has potential to be a great center but hobbling up and down a court for 15 minutes a game in the playoff does not make one a potential hall of famer, like KD.

Andrew was essential in holding down the Celtics, but at this point in his career I doubt that many teams are salivating at the idea of giving up their franchise player for an injury prone big.

Trying to do a trade for Durant is almost useless.
I don't think OKC would trade him straight up for any player in the NBA.

@ART… I met George several times and he was always pretty shy but I remember him talking about Star Wars and that was the only time he became animated. I only met Linda a couple of times. Talk about reality TV. How about George sitting in the chair and asking Linda when his haircut was over what she thought – LOL – just like any other couple. Growing up in the 60’s, Linda was clearly the diva that dominated my dreams. One of the other famous people that I met at Thorneycroft’s was the author of Martin Cruz Smith, the author of Gorky Park and many other superb novels. Very quiet and unassuming guy but just a wonderful writer. I just finished his latest Arkady Renko Novel, Three Stations, which as usual was excellent.
Thorneycroft’s barbershop back then was about two blocks away from Sweetwater, which was long Marin County’s premier music venue until it shut down a couple of years ago so we used to see many rock legends around town all the time. Sweetwater was a small bar with stage that could hold about 100 people. Had the great fortune to see many superb artists there, including John Lee Hooker, Maria Muldaur, Clarence Clemons, John Stewart, Jesse Colin Young, Doc Watson, Elvin Bishop, Dave Van Ronk, Boz Scags, and Huey Lewis. It was heartbreaking for all NorCal music lovers to see Sweetwater close up. It was a great slice of time.

(Some of) Y'all are taking Old Hippy seriously. LOL!

Durrant won't be going anywhere until that latter end of his recently signed contract. Just my humble opinion.

Ya'll trip'n....the man missed 10 days...10 days...gimmie a break. Bottom line..if the Lakers management didn't have a problem with it..neither should none of us. Even if he had the procedure witin those 10 days we'd still be looking at mid to late November. The Lakers are not going to rush him back. Ratliff, Caracter and the rest of the boys can hold the fort down. Actually, I'd like him to stay out at least until December 1.

..and one more time, he gives old hippies a bad name.. see, it's hippie, not hippy.

..and the posts have a consistent odor.. probably early toilet training issues.. he's thrilled when he makes doody, and wants everyone to see it..

@Utz - I too would trade Old Hippy for another Troll, but i'd rather take Green Bald Headed Lunatic than 131-92. At least his handle wasn't a reminder of a very bad day (which, in effect, was the catalyst for our current good fortune).

For some reason, i get the feeling that Old Hippy is Mike T. in disguise. that's just my opinion, but i could be wrong


Whats with this Bynum coulda woulda shoulda rest? Isn't he being paid to report to duty and ready to contribute. Perhaps rest of the team should also rest until June, why bother, just turn on the faucet come playoff time and see it it works.

Posted by: Old Hippy | September 29, 2010 at 10:09 AM

It worked last season.

@ Lance From Da' Bronx
The game on spain it's on Kcal9,11:30 am,pacific time...

i don't know, but after hearing mitch describe bynum's surgery on nbaTV the other night, i can't imagine bynum's knees holding up after "recovering." he'll probably damage his other knee when it compensates for the surgically repaired one. it's too bad because i feel he was the second most effective center in the league after dwight. neither of those players have reached their full potential but i have a feeling bynum would've evolved to become more effective, i.e. better post moves - thank you Kareem - and he is a superior free throw shooter which is essential near the end of games. just think "hack-a-shaq." oh well, we can only wish, not hope - because hope is prolonged disappointment - that the youngster will stay healthy for the team's quest for a chip. i wish that odom was allowed to continue coming off of the bench and that pau can remain at his natural 4 spot. perhaps theo will have one killer season left inside him. i mean, at this stage of his career, he has an opportunity to not only win a ring but become a major contributor in the process. c'mon theo! the team, ownership and Lakers fans everywhere need you. find that fire and let it blaze from within. all that kobe needs from his center is low post defense and rebounds. he doesn't count on scoring from the 5; just haul down those offensive and defensive rebounds along with some of that patented defense. we just need a defensive presence down there and bynum proved last year that it was enough to get the team to the promised land. switching gears a bit: i think eventually blake should start and fish off the bench with the second unit: lamar and fish and will make a formidable nucleus for a second unit. i think it will turn out that way.


Posted by: Old Hippy

a lot of people are already laughing at you, but just to drive home the point. OKC would not trade KD for Kobe at this point in time. Simply cuz KD is in the best player in the league convo same as Kobe and he's like a decade younger than Kobe.

A more realistic trade partner might be Washington. Gilbert Areanas is the last man standing from their small three of Butler/Jamison/Arenas and if they don't get off to a great start they might decide to ship him out. Now say Miami got off to a "holy #$%& there is noway this team doesn't win the trophy for the next 5 years" type of start, then Buss & co. just might decide to ship say Bynum/Walton/Sasha out and try to revive the baller formerly known as Agent 0.

With or without such a trade, provided our team is healthy, we ain't letting go of their throne any time soon. I hear Kobe still has smush parker nightmares.

Trade Bynum for Kevin Durant (22yrs) and repeat MJ's legacy!

Posted by: Old Hippy | September 29, 2010 at 10:22 AM


Why do you keep posting this? OKC would NEVER do it, nor would anyone in their right mind consider trading Kobe Bryant's heir apparent as the best player on the planet for any player. This is embarrassing to this otherwise sophisticated forum.

@ kurilaker thank you!

Durant is already signed till 2016, we'll be older by 6 more years by then. Are we still after 2012?

For those who are Sasha watchers, here is what he said on BSPN: "I want to play, there's no secret about it," Vujacic said. "There's a reason why I'm here. They drafted me and played me here in the past, I've been here seven years."
~~Hehe, he got now the 7 year itch. In honor of Wes video, here is the new come-back fad for Sasha's fashion & Maria S. will be his model.

RE: LRob, sorry I was on errands when you asked the question whether it includes Limo service.

~~I don't know with our Chairman ArtFl whether he included that in his costings, right now it is a losing proposition to include games outside of home games. Supposing the outside games are included, I think at the current austerity budget of LAT, it will not include Limo, however you can reimburse the cheapest transportation available going to Detroit stadium from your residence. I think that will be the public bus. There are conditions on the reimbursements, there are deductibles in it, if the bus is In-Network it's 80-20 and Out-Network 50-50, and no free mailing.

Laker Tom,

Go ahead, rub it in, lol.

As a teen in the 60's and young adult in the 70's, it was really a special time though I don't think I appreciated how special it was until later and could look back.
But maybe it is for everyone that age, not sure.

I thought we were going to leave the Drew topic alone for a while.
Guess this blog just can't get enough of him.
It's almost getting to be funny.


You're cracking me up, love the 80-20, 50-50, in or out of network stuff.
No, there will not be any limo or transportation reimbursement, it is game tickets only.
Just trying to figure the cost of 82 tickets and how to generate enough revenue to exceed that.
Maybe generous Ron or the Laker players will pitch in and pick up the cost of the 82 tickets and donate them to the cause.

Wow, itsy bitsy, holy moley.

This is exactly what doctor ordered(yes, pun intended.) Bynum's injury is blessing in disguise! I really wanted see more of Ratliff and Caracter anyway.

@LakerTom - Linda cool

@Art - You've got good taste with CCR.

Like Utz said don't let Old Hippy get you riled up with with the KD talk.

I thought we were going to leave the Drew topic alone for a while.
Guess this blog just can't get enough of him.
It's almost getting to be funny.

Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | September 29, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Yep, it would be if it weren't so sad... regular season is very important... you play to win so you can have a top seed in the playoffs... it's no fun coming in 5th or lower trying to get into the finals. we don't have a young team and the one youngin' they have has the knees of an 80 year old man!

Hi Mark

Lamar was the STARTING Center for Team USA, not the BACKUP.

Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler were the backups to Lamar on Team USA.

@ART… Sometimes I think that all music is just reruns and variations on the greats from the 60’s and 70’s. I mean who today can even hold a candle to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, the Boss, or Rolling Stones? And who today will be listened to and still worshipped 50 years later? Maybe U2 but not many more IMO.

Hey guys. You're right my mistakes. I fixed the Lamar re: center note. Hah didn't mean for this open up the Bynum debate again. I guess this is more of the by product. As far as the blessing in disguise argument, I guess I can buy to some degree. The Lakers would be much better off if Bynum were healthy and they could establish early-season chemistry; plus feel comfortable that there wouldn't be an unpredictable recovery process. If Caracter gets heavy minutes in the middle of the season, it's probably not a good thing. That being said, this is a good opportunity to show what Caracter and Ratliff can provide. They're not going to be needed to provide huge roles. But so long as they hold the fort down well and bring something to the table, Phil can probably feel more comfortable giving the Lakers' front line some rest at certain points in the season.

@LROB… Linda was great, a little chubby when I met her but still beautiful. George was a lucky man. Only time I ever shared a smoke with a celebrity. Almost as weird as the first time I did it with my son. Wonder if we’re finally going to legalize pot for recreational uses in California. It’s our #1 cash crop for sure.
If there were a player in the NBA whom I would consider trading Andrew Bynum for it would be Kevin Durant. OKC would never make that trade but Durant would be a much better fit for the Lakers than Carmelo Antony. And note that I did say “consider” trading and the only reason would be the injury concern.


Could you get Caliphilosopher a press pass or something? Perhaps you can pass him off as your sidekick-cameramen-note taker, and get him into the arena. I'm sure he'll be awesome at giving us updates and extra insights to our Lakers performance.

Hah, I feel like I'm lucky enough to get my own press pass .I might be pushing it to get a second

i think that it is important to see everything as an opportunity. so it is what it is drew gets to rest, (my grandmother told me when i was about 12 years old the if you don't work for yourself, you're just office equipment). i think drew just dosen't want to be walking around with a cane fo the rest of his life when he's 35 years. hopefully he enjoyed his time away and now it's time to focus. the new bigs have a GREAT opportunity to impress the hell out of pj, so they'll get serious minutes when drew comes back.

I feel like I'm lucky enough to get my own press pass - MM

~~Calip... is in London, so are u now going to London too?

I'm really looking forward to seeing this Caracter kid play. He's got quite a bit of raw talent. If he doesn't go all Travis Knight on us, and avg. more fouls than minutes and points, then we might have ourselves a new Mailman in the NBA.

Posted by: Old Hippy | September 29, 2010 at 09:36 AM
Nope I want them both. Let KD play out his current contract of 5 yrs (option year?) and that would be the time Kobe's carreer winding up. KD joins and we still have AB and any new additions we add.


Exactly the point. Bynum was out of some games last season, and had no trouble inserting LO into the starting lineup. It was the second unit that suffered as a result of LO's 'temporary promotion'. However, i do not see any significant meltdown in the second unit's performance because: (i) hopefully, Luke would be available to do what he does best -- get everyone in the second unit involved in the offense [something that Farmar had mixed results in doing last year]; and (ii) there has been a significant upgrade in the quality of the second unit.

I can understand the frustration of some bloggers with the absence of Bynum and his seeming nonchalance about being unable to play until late November. I'd like to think that, being 22, he may have just had a brain freeze and stuck his foot up his mouth. I'm sure we all may have, at one time or another, said something we regretted later on. So i would rather reflect on what good Bynum had done in the past -- specifically, his presence in the middle during the Boston series and sucking it up (having his knees drained twice) just to contribute. I'd rather focus on the respect that he gained from his teammates by such a heroic act.

We all seem polarized by Bynum's worth (or non-worth). For some reason, i sense that the Lakers themselves aren't too worked up by his temporary absence, and look forward to the monstrous contributions he will give once he's back.

KC will trade Kevin Durant for Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton. You hear it first!!!!



In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...