Robert Sacre to Start Following Injuries to Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: Robert Sacre #50 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates a first half basket against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With injuries causing the Los Angeles Lakers to be thin in the frontcourt, they will now turn to a familiar face.

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports that Robert Sacre will return to the team from the D-League and will immediately start at center against the Houston Rockets:

Robert Sacre will be called up from the D-League to start at center. Unsure if Jamison, MWP, Clark, Ebanks will start at the 4.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 7, 2013

This comes after the unfortunate news that Dwight Howard has a torn labrum and Pau Gasol has a concussion. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported that both will be out for at least a few games:

Dwight Howard has torn labrum in his right shoulder, is out at least a week. Pau Gasol has a concussion, is out at least two games. #Lakers

— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 7, 2013

Sacre has played sparingly in his first year in the NBA out of Gonzaga. He has appeared in 13 games, averaging only 4.2 minutes per contest.

Overall, he has totaled seven points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and 14 personal fouls.

He performed better in his short stint in the D-League. In four games with the D-Fenders, Sacre averaged 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.

If he wants to stay with the big team, he will need to improve his play and cut down on the fouls. Los Angeles certainly does not have enough depth to account for a player getting into foul trouble early in a game.

It is extremely unlikely that Sacre will be able to replace the 29.5 combined points and 20.8 combined rebounds that will be lost with Howard and Gasol out of the lineup. However, he needs to perform his best to help out a team that has lost three in a row and is now 15-18 on the year.

Without question, this is not what was expected from the All-Star squad that was built during the offseason. Sacre will now try his best to help play a part in changing that.

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