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How will Antawn Jamison's injury affect the Lakers?

March 24, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers forward Antawn Jamison grimaces in pain Friday as trainer Gary Vitti looks at his injured wrist.
Lakers forward Antawn Jamison grimaces in pain Friday as trainer Gary Vitti… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Late in the third quarter of the Lakers' loss to the Washington Wizards (103-100) on Friday, Antawn Jamison was injured when his shot was blocked by Kevin Seraphin. The Lakers forward left the game with his team up by seven but would not return.

X-rays were negative. Jamison left Staples Center with his right wrist in a brace. An MRI confirmed a sprained wrist but Jamison has ligament damage which could lead to off-season surgery.

While he's listed as day-to-day, Jamison will try to play through the pain.  That may be noble, but how significantly will the wrist alter his shooting mechanics?

After a slow start to the season, Jamison has become an integral part of the Lakers' rotation. In his 64 appearances, the Lakers have won exactly half.

In 32 wins, Jamison has averaged 11.3 points a game while shooting 50.8% from the field and 40.2% from three. Through 32 losses, he's averaged 7.2 points at 42.8% and 29.1%, respectively.

The Lakers have become dependent on Jamison and his outside shot.  If the wrist injury takes that away, it could be a serious problem moving forward for the team.

Floor-spacing is crucial for the Lakers to open up the inside for Dwight Howard or driving lanes for Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.

The Lakers (36-34) are holding onto the eighth seed in the Western Conference by a game and a half over the Utah Jazz. 

With 12 remaining, the team has a slight chance to climb ahead of the Golden State Warriors (40-31) and Houston Rockets (38-31), but not if it is losing games at home to sub-.500 teams like the Wizards.

ALSO:

Lakers fall apart in second half of 103-100 loss to Wizards

Trevor Ariza bests his former teammate Kobe Bryant

The Lakers' rotation is starting to take shape, despite injuries

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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