Heat guard Mike Miller tries to block a shot by Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock… (Harry How / Getty Images…)
This is the 10th post in a series awarding midseason grades to some of the Lakers. This focuses on the rookies.
Player: Darius Morris
How he did: 2.7 points on 52% in 10.3 minutes through 13 games.
Good: Even with his limited playing time, Morris shows potential with his play-making abilities and athleticism. He hasn't let his limited role detract him from working hard. Morris routinely stays after practice to work on shots and often arrives early for pregame warmups.
Bad: Morris faced a tough hand by immediately assuming Steve Blake's backup spot during his injury after appearing in only one regular-season game. Still, Morris did a few things that made the coaching staff lack confidence in him. He often overdribbled, averaged just as many turnovers as assists and appeared intent on doing way too much.
Morris has NBA potential. But he needs more playing time to develop. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they can't afford to give him that luxury even if they have a need at point guard. Morris has routinely said he doesn't regret leaving the Michigan after his sophomore season because he can learn more from NBA players. But I can't see how sitting on the bench in the NBA rather than sharpening his skills in college is a better option.
Player: Andrew Goudelock
How he did: Averaged 4.9 points on 40.7% shooting in 11.4 minutes through 29 games.
Good: Goudelock earned an elevated role almost by default. Morris didn't look ready playing the point. The Lakers also lack a legitimate backup shooting guard. But Goudelock's strong outside shooting, confidence and movement in the offense prompted Coach Mike Brown to keep him in the rotation. Goudelock has maintained a good balance between remaining confident while not trying to do too much as his role increased. He also stays late after practice and arrives early for pregame warmups. The result: Goudelock has a dependable three-point shot, an NBA-style floater and an array of pull-up jumpers, all areas the Lakers lack consistency from other players.
Bad: He's undersized, generously listed at 6-3, and doesn't have much speed. Goudelock also remains subpar on defense.
Goudelock has plenty of room to grow, particularly once he routlnely faces stronger perimeter defenders. But by all accounts, Goudelock has surpassed expectations. So much that some teammates and occassionaly Brown pronounce his name correctly.
Lakers midseason report card: Free agent signings' limited effect