Andrew Goudelock takes advantage of opportunity
Just when it appeared that significant playing time was not in the cards, Lakers rookie guard Andrew Goudelock picked up on a few signals that suggested otherwise.
The Lakers' morning shoot-around Wednesday involved Goudelock playing at backup point guard. For the first time in recent memory, Lakers Coach Mike Brown actually pronounced Goudelock's name correctly in practice (it rhymes with "loud lock"). Still, the last thing Goudelock wanted to do was get his hopes up over nothing.
So he simply alerted his parents he might play some minutes in the Lakers-Clippers game and then took his routine pre-game nap. Once he woke up, Goudelock hardly thought about what might ensue.
Said Goudelock: "I woke up here, came to the game with my mind right and was ready to play.
The result. Goudelock played at backup shooting guard and recorded a career-high 14 points on five-for-eight shooting in 20 minutes, surpassing the 10 points he scored in his previous 10 appearances. Afterward, Brown said he'd seriously consider giving Goudelock more playing time at the spot instead of the struggling Darius Morris.
Who knows how that will pan out considering Steve Blake, who's been sidelined 11 days with an injury, may return within a week. But it beats sitting on the bench.
"It helps me out and boosts my confidence a bit," Goudelock said. "You never know when your next opportunity is going to come. You just have to take advantage of the next opportunity that's in your face. It's good to know I may have a few more opportunities in the future. It relaxes you a bit because you can't relax at all."
Goudelock entered the Lakers-Clippers game averaging only 2.2 points on 34.8% shooting in seven minutes. Brown and teammates told Goudelock he played too tight and nervous. Goudelock's trigger-happy tendencies revealed his hope to jam as much production within a shortened minutes. And mindless mistakes, such as losing out on defensive rotations and making poor passes, contributed to his reduced playing time.
Against the Clippers, Goudelock looked in rhythm making two first-half three-pointers. He was effective creating off the dribble en route to two floaters and made smooth swing passes that contributed the Lakers' sharp ball movement.
"For me, it's just play," Goudelock said. "Don't worry. If you have a turnover, get back. If something happens, don't worry about it. Move on to the next play. If you dwell on things, it compounds into more mistakes. For me it's going to be play."
Still, Goudelock struggled to keep up with Clippers guard Mo Williams on defense. On a fourth-quarter fast break, Williams committed a flagrant foul on Goudelock by grabbing the back of his shoulder.
"I'm not going to be surprised if someone punches me in the mouth," Goudelock said with a smile.
Goudelock said he'll continue to follow the team's mantra: "Don't get too high or too low." But he hopes to use his recent performance as a steppingstone.
"I want to try to build from this," he said. "I think I did pretty well. I have something I can think about and use going forward as I try to make my way on this team."
-- Mark Medina
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