Josh McRoberts adapting with the Lakers
Three days since arriving in Los Angeles, new Lakers forward Josh McRoberts is still staying at a hotel near the team's practice facility — and isn't even thinking about house hunting in Southern California.
"I got to learn the offense before I find a place to live," he said. "That's what I'm worried about."
To do so, he's pored over Mike Brown's DVDs and started memorizing some of the unspecified terminology in the Lakers' "smart corner" offense. But just like how McRoberts' has handled his living arrangements on the fly, so will he handle his acclimation with the Lakers.
It hardly seems fair to ask McRoberts, who's not exactly of All-Star caliber, to fill Lamar Odom's shoes. Still McRoberts finished last season at Indiana with a career-high average of 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 54.7% from the floor and averaging 22.2 minutes per game. And he won't really have to know the whole playbook from the start. He can mitigate the loss of Odom with his basketball instincts, given that most of his game consists of scrapping for loose balls, getting offensive putbacks and providing energy off the bench.
"I won't have to know 100% of everything to be able to be effective," McRoberts said after the Lakers' intrasquad scrimmage at USC. "I want to know everything, make reads and make plays but just playing basketball, once you get the basics, it's just making reads. That makes it easier for me."
In practice, he's been banging bodies with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, who say McRoberts has already raised their intensity level. In the scrimmage, McRoberts often cut through the lane and grabbed offensive putbacks. In Sunday's practice, he correctly set a pair of screens that immediatly earned Brown's praise.
"I thought he was active," Brown said. "That's what we brought him in for with his actiity."
And even if he has plenty to catch up on, that'll do for now.
-- Mark Medina
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