Williams is in, Radmanovic is out
Jackson activates Shammond Williams and puts him in during the second quarter, as disappointing Vladimir Radmanovic is put on inactive list for the game.
By Mike Bresnahan
Times Staff Writer
April 25, 2007
PHOENIX — Another playoff game, another surprise guest appearance in the Lakers' backcourt.
was activated, then inserted into Game 2 in the second quarter, his first game action since an eight-minute appearance April 6 against Seattle. He had nine points in 19 minutes against Phoenix, joining Jordan Farmar
as Coach Phil Jackson
's other strong on-court statement in the month of April.
The addition of Williams meant the subtraction of Vladimir Radmanovic
, who was put on the inactive list for the game, the equivalent of a healthy scratch in hockey.
Radmanovic, who incurred the wrath of Lakers' followers by sustaining a separated right shoulder while snowboarding during the All-Star break, had two points in three games since returning April 12.
Radmanovic has been nothing short of a disappointment in the first season of a five-year, $30.2-million contract. He averaged 6.6 points in 55 regular-season games, establishing career lows in both categories.
Any other roster moves up Jackson's jacket sleeve? Probably not. He's running out of options. Smush Parker
isn't expected to be put on the inactive list either.
"No, I haven't considered that," Jackson said.
The finesse "facilitator" tag has been dropped, thanks to five stitches over the left eyebrow, a torn labrum in the left shoulder and a sore knee that still nags Lamar Odom
He is more boxer than basketball player these days, sitting in his locker stall with a heating pad on his right knee and a bandage over the two-inch cut over his eyebrow. If there was something to put on his shoulder, he would find it, but there's not, so he grits his teeth and continues to play, one Lakers' plot line that doesn't end with "wasted opportunity" or "lack of effort" so far in the first round.
The franchise has noticed, appreciative of the effort.
"He's played through it exceptionally well," Jackson said. "We've got to give him a tremendous amount of credit for coming back."
The latest reminder of his tenuous shoulder came in the first quarter when Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire
blocked his shot, pushing his shoulder back and causing another pained expression. Surgery remains a very real possibility after the season.
Odom, who has two years and $27.4 million left on his contract after this season, managed to avoid the injury bug in 2005-06, missing only two games, but the same can't be said this season. He missed 21 games after sustaining a sprained right knee in December and, more recently, sat out five games in March after hurting his shoulder.
"He's had a really incredible year to have to play his way through things." Jackson said. "I give him a lot of credit for that. He seems to just play on."
As is his annual custom come playoff time, Jackson has slipped on one of his championship rings. His choice this season — the 2001 Lakers.
Any particular reason?
"The rest of them are all in the safe-deposit box," he said, smiling.