Wafer still struggling with shot
LOS ANGELES – An hour before Sunday’s game, Lakers coach Phil Jackson was joking about the possible outcomes involved with starting rookie guard Von Wafer in Kobe Bryant’s place against the Utah Jazz. There was the possibility of being down by 20 points right away with Wafer starting or being up by 20 “accidentally,” as Jackson put it, “because the Lord strikes him with lightning or something.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonHe was matched up against Utah’s Gordan Giricek and Devin Brown and played alongside Sasha Vujacic in the backcourt. The Lakers were outscored 14-6 with Wafer in the game and struggling at the start of the second quarter. Wafer came into Sunday having played all of six games and 19 minutes as a rookie. Jackson remains high on Wafer, who has hit only two of 13 shots this season, and has spoken of the second-round pick as an “unstoppable” scorer in practice. Forward Lamar Odom denied a report that he had gone to Lakers management and asked where he stood in respect to a potential Ron Artest trade. “That’s a rumor,” Odom said. “I wouldn’t do anything like that. It’s not my place.” Forward Ronny Turiaf had more fouls (eight) than rebounds (seven) in two games with the CBA’s Yakima (Wash.) Sun Kings this weekend. Turiaf, a Lakers’ second-round draft pick, is trying to return to basketball after undergoing heart surgery … Center Chris Mihm has seven people staying with him in advance of the Rose Bowl … Jackson said there is no timetable for guard Aaron McKie’s return from a torn quadriceps tendon. Never mind that it was Sunday and raining in Los Angeles. Jackson decided against starting Wafer – going instead with forward Luke Walton – but did give the 20-year-old the most meaningful minutes of his young career. Wafer checked in with 1:31 left in the first quarter, had two points and played more than six minutes. But Wafer couldn’t get his shot to fall. He missed three open jumpers and two of four free throws.