Finally, a Vladimir Radmanovic sighting.
He had not played a minute in two games since losing his starting job, which prompted Lakers Coach Phil Jackson to say, "He'd like to assassinate me, but we're not going to let that happen."
Then Radmanovic entered Sunday's game against Minnesota with 2:21 left in the second quarter. He did not take a shot and never reentered the game once the quarter ended.
Radmanovic was part of Jackson's master plan to spread the court on offense, but now he has given way to Luke Walton and tumbled from first string to third string, from 21.5 minutes a game to under three total minutes the last three games.
"As a player, you always expect to play and you don't want to put yourself down, but, obviously, two minutes doesn't make any difference," Radmanovic said.
"I can't really say I'm excited about two minutes of playing time, but it's definitely more than last game.
"Look at the bright side: Our goal is to win a championship. We mentioned before the season that there were going to be a lot of sacrifices. I guess that this is one of them."
Radmanovic was averaging 7.9 points a game and shooting 47.5% from three-point range when he was relegated to reserve status.
Walton, meanwhile, had been a catalyst with 14 assists in his first two games as a starter, though he was shooting only 35.3% since leaving the bench behind.
"He hasn't shot the ball particularly well since he's come back," Jackson said. "We're just hoping he regains his confidence on that. A lot of it's confidence, I think."
Walton had seven points Sunday on three-for-six shooting but had only two assists. He made an open three-pointer from the corner with 3:53 left in the third quarter.
Edited by m4mb4 24, December 15, 2008 - 12:43 PM.