Jordan Hill Injury Means Lakers Must Get Creative with Their Lineups

Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 8, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 04:  Jordan Hill #27 of the Los Angeles Lakers gets helped off the court by Robert Sacre #50 during a 107-102 Los Angeles Clipper win at Staples Center on January 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

As if the Los Angeles Lakers needed any more problems, the injury to Jordan Hill means rookie Robert Sacre will start against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. 

So this is what it's come to, Lakers Nation.

Instead of watching Sacre—NBA's version of Mr. Irrelevant—bust a move on the bench or develop in the NBDL, you're going to have to watch him battle against the immovable Omer Asik on the inside. 

And it might not just be a one-time thing, either. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Hill has a fairly serious injury:

Lakers forward Jordan Hill will miss a minimum of a week with a small muscle tear in his hip, league source tells Y! Sports.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 8, 2013

Hill, who leads the NBA in offensive rebound percentage, joins Dwight Howard (torn labrum) and Pau Gasol (concussion) as L.A. big men to be sidelined for a week at the very least. 

Enter Sacre, the menacing (I say that completely sarcastically) 7'0", 260-pound center, to save the day. 

The former Gonzaga star may be getting the start, but this feels like one of those situations where the starter gets 15 minutes or less.

Maybe it's the fact that he averaged just 4.2 minutes per game in 13 appearances for the Lakers before being sent down to play for the Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-Fenders...can't make this stuff up) that leads me to believe Sacre will struggle to make an impact. Or maybe it's the fact that I saw him get pushed around in the WCC too many times over the past two years.

(Mom, you beautiful Gonzaga grad, if you're reading this, Sacre is awesome!!)

But instead of relying on Sacre over the next week, it's far more believable that Mike D'Antoni will have to get extremely creative with his lineups.

Like, this kind of creative (via the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan):

Metta World Peace might play a little center as well, Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said. Surreal.

— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 7, 2013

Not only surreal, but almost a necessity. 

With the troop count running so low in Los Angeles, the Lakers are going to have to run with Steve Nash at the point, Kobe Bryant and Jodie Meeks on the wing and Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace down low.

Sacre, Devin Ebanks and maybe even Earl Clark will give the occasional breather, but those are the five you can expect to see on the court for the majority of the time.

Gives a new meaning the term "small ball," huh?

Nonetheless, whoever D'Antoni decides to throw out there, it will likely result in a lot of points scored and a lot of points allowed. 

Laker fans probably won't like it, but it will be damn intriguing to watch for the rest of us.