L.A. Lakers praise Marcelo Huertas through ups and downs

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The alley-oop lob sent the crowd into a frenzy. So did the touch pass that set up an open dunk. Hence, the surprise reactions went beyond the Lakers securing an upset win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday at Staples Center. It also involved backup point guard Marcelo Huertas posting career-highs in points (10) and assists (nine). Yet, the 32-year-old Brazilian native called those numbers “irrelevant.”“The most important thing is the way you affect the game when you’re out there and how the team works,” Huertas said. “I could’ve had zero points and zero assists and still be important for the team to win a game.”There marked very few times the Lakers (13-51) have won games entering Tuesday’s contest against the Orlando Magic (27-34) at Staples Center. But there marked plenty of times Huertas finished his game with donuts by virtue of a coach’s decision (29). “I knew it would be a transition for me and I would have to understand it,” Huertas said. “I’ve been waiting for my opportunities. Now I’m trying to play with the way I know how for better or worse.”Injury updateScott did not receive any insight on how Kobe Bryant’s sore right shoulder felt for one specific reason. “We never really talked about the shoulder,” Scott said. “That was my mistake. I forgot to ask him about it.”The Lakers have listed Bryant as questionable for Tuesday’s game in Orlando after missing three of the past five games. The GiftThe memories will forever remain fresh in Scott’s mind both on mentoring Bryant his rookie year and coaching him in his last two NBA seasons. But Scott also wants something else that will stay with Scott well after Bryant retires.“I already talked to Kobe that I want some (signed) shoes and a jersey,” Scott said. Scott then informed Bryant he only made such a request from former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who gave Scott an autograph and a pair of shoes during the 1988-89 campaign in what also marked his 20th and final NBA season. center_img After starring for 11 seasons in Spain, Huertas’ rookie season in the NBA also entailed ending up on highlight shows for the wrong reasons. He has often appeared overwhelmed defending quick guards, while averaging only 3.4 points on 42.3 percent shooting and 2.8 assists in 13 minutes. “A lot of people try to give him a lot of crap. But that man is good,” Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell said of Huertas. “They don’t see what we see in practice every day.”There, the Lakers have praised his work ethic, veteran presence and adherence to team principles. With Lou Williams out with a strained left hamstring, Huertas has averaged 7.6 points on 51.9 percent shooting and five assists in 22.2 minutes in the past five games. Lakers coach Byron Scott also called Huertas the team’s “MVP” against Golden State.“I try to move the ball, find others and get the team organized,” Huertas said. “Sometimes I slow the pace down, especially when other teams start to get on a run and calm things down.”Huertas said he also remained calm when he often stayed on the bench. last_img read more