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Lakers rookies Derrick Caracter, Devin Ebanks try to seize their opportunities

Both got into Wednesday's game against the Pistons, and the rookies say that playing time is a boost for their confidence as they adjust to the NBA.

November 18, 2010|By Broderick Turner

Reporting from Auburn Hills, Mich. — The rookies got some playing time, and that's all that really mattered to them and to the Lakers.

Neither rookie stood out against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night at The Palace in Auburn Hills.

But forwards Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks did just enough against the Pistons to earn a measure of praise from the man they most have to impress.

"The rookies did all right," Coach Phil Jackson said. "They didn't shoot great, but I thought they ran and they hustled.

"Derrick got some rebounds and messed around in there. Devin ran the lane and got a couple of steals. He was active."

Caracter played 15 minutes 24 seconds, his season high.

He had six points and five rebounds, two offensive. He was three for five from the field.

At 6 feet 9, he is being asked to play power forward and center, his natural position from his days at Texas El Paso.

"I'm paying more attention in huddles," Caracter said. "It kind of helps me knowing my positions."

Ebanks played 7:57.

He had four points on one-for-five shooting, four rebounds and one blocked shot.

And he has played in back-to-back games.

"It helps me a lot," Ebanks said. "Just being out there, I get to learn."

Caracter might play even more because center Andrew Bynum is recovering from right knee surgery and backup center Theo Ratliff is expected to be out for four to six weeks after having left knee surgery Tuesday.

"It helps me a lot to get playing time," Caracter said. "The more time I get, the better I can get."

Ebanks, out of the University of West Virginia, is a 6-9 small forward who is playing behind Ron Artest and Luke Walton.

"I think it's about getting a confidence boost," Ebanks said. "When the coach wants me out there, I just try to play as hard as I can."

Jackson likes what both Caracter and Ebanks bring to the team.

"Just getting out there is a good deal for them, and playing," Jackson said. "Playing, that's important for them to get an opportunity."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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