Devin Ebanks unlikely to receive much playing time with Lakers
The day he announced Devin Ebanks as his starting small forward, Lakers Coach Mike Brown issued this warning.
"If he messes up," Brown said, "I'll pull him so quick that he won't play."
Brown surely backed up the tough talk. Two months after Ebanks started the first four games, the Lakers sent him down to their Development League, the D-Fenders. Brown spouted the cliches after Thursday's practice about the need for Ebanks to sharpen his post presence, outside shooting and defense. But as far as what that means for Ebanks' future playing time with the Lakers?
It's very likely anything Ebanks shows in his D-League stint will translate much at all with the purple and gold.
"The guys in front of him have to be playing really bad and we have to be playing really bad as a team in order for him to get an opportunity," Brown said regarding Ebanks, who has averaged just 2.7 points through 15 games for the Lakers.. "And he's got to keep bringing it every day."
Of course, Browns pulled the quick trigger plenty of times at the small forward position.
Metta World Peace received a starting nod after playing his best performance in the Lakers' 96-91 victory Jan. 25 against the Clippers, though the rest of his previous games remained inconsistent. Matt Barnes' overly aggressive fouls, streaky three-point shooting and frustration over substitution patterns clouded his five double-digit scoring efforts as a starter. Brown's initial enthusiasm over Ebanks' 75% shooting through two preseason games immediately evaported as he showed tentativeness.
With Brown's hope to have his rotation solidifed at the halfway part of the season, that moment could come as early as next week when the Lakers officially reach that point.
"If I feel like it's time to make a change because I feel this person would be better for us, we'll make it," Brown said. "You have to keep getting better. This is an opportunity for him to go to the D-League and get some minutes because right now we don't have any minutes for him."
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