Western Notes: Lakers, O’Neal, Rush

December 12 2013 at 6:40pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

As we noted earlier, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant – who has started at the shooting guard and small forward position over his first two games back, respectively – will now be expected to handle point guard duties while the team’s whole rotation at point guard deals with injuries. His first test will come against Thunder guard Russell Westbrook on Friday, and while Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times isn’t so sure if Bryant will be up to that type of challenge this soon into his return, the team doesn’t seem to have much of a choice.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • Although he listed some names expected to be on the Lakers’ radar earlier, Pincus also tweeted that as of now, the front office hasn’t decided on a course of action yet and will “tough it out” for the time being.
  • While it’s not within our scope to focus on injury rumors, it’s still worth noting that Warriors big man Jermaine O’Neal is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on Friday to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist, and a timetable for his return will be determined after the surgery, the team announced (Twitter links). However, Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group tweets that the procedure would likely end the 35-year-old veteran’s season and career.
  • Jazz guard Brandon Rush recently met with head coach Tyrone Corbin to hash out some of his frustrations about a lack of playing time, writes Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune“It’s been really frustrating because I’ve worked hard…I wanted to be able to get some minutes and help the team out… (but) I had a good talk with Coach…He let me know what the deal was.” Corbin later told the media that he’s just trying to get Rush to play without apprehension.
  • In another piece, Falk describes how Marvin Williams has been an invaluable role player for Utah when he’s been able to find court time.
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