The Los Angeles Lakers have had a tumultuous last few weeks, but the team gained some sense of stability on Friday as head coach Mike Brown named Devin Ebanks the starter at small forward. Ebanks, a second year wing out of West Virginia, was in a close battle with Matt Barnes for the starting spot in practice and eventually won out with the season opener less than two days away. Here is the story from Andy Kamenetzky:
Brown opted to go with Ebanks, despite the forward's lack of NBA experience. As a rookie in the 2010-11 season, Ebanks averaged just 5.9 minutes and 3.1 points per game and appeared in only 20 contests before suffering a season-ending stress fracture on his left tibia in March.
However, Ebanks' improvement was immediately evident during a strong training camp, and he scored eight points in less than 13 minutes on Wednesday during the Lakers' second preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"I learned about it today after practice," said Ebanks. "I'm just ready to go out there and play now." Brown thought Ebanks "did a nice job."
There are players around the league the Lakers would rather have than Ebanks, but it may do the team some good to get some fresh legs on the court. LA has aged in recent seasons and Ebanks may be able to provide a nice spark, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
For more on the Lakers, head on over to Silver Screen and Roll.