The Los Angeles Lakers cannot seem to catch a break when it comes to injuries this season, but former lottery pick Xavier Henry is reaping the benefits when it comes to a chance to establish himself as a valid member of any NBA team’s roster. The Lakers have lost Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar to injury leaving them without a point guard on the roster until recently acquired guard Kendall Marshall is ready for action. Add in the devastating news to superstar Kobe Bryant, who is now expected to miss the next six weeks with a fracture to his left knee, and this inserts Henry into the starting point guard slot for the Lakers game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night.
Henry is averaging 9.6 points, one assist and 2.6 rebounds a game so far this year on only 20 minutes a game, and all of those numbers will immediately increase as he is a lock to see 30-plus minutes a night. All three of those averages are actually higher for the month of December alone and Henry will continue to be an integral part of this Lakers’ rotation for a long time, even once other players begin to get healthy.
The former 12th overall pick is still only 22 years old and his hustle on the court has endeared him to Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni, earning him his minutes in the rotation. With the Lakers in a clear rebuilding phase, it will do Henry good to see plenty of minutes on the court and improve his game as the Lakers will look to buy their way into championship contention in the star-studded 2014 free agency period.
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