According to Mike D’Antoni – via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell – rookie Ryan Kelly will be getting his first ever career start on Sunday when the Los Angeles Lakers pay a visit to the Toronto Raptors. D’Antoni mentioned following Saturday’s practice at the Air Canada Centre that Kelly would provide “toughness” and “smarts” to the team while on the floor. Jordan Hill will return to the bench while the rest of the lineup will remain the same.
The start follows a game where he put up a stat line of 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block against the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Kelly portrayed swiftness and made good decisions throughout the game. He went 2-4 from beyond the arc and shot 50% from the field in a game that otherwise would have been lost if not for his contributions.
Their upcoming opponent, the Toronto Raptors, have won 14 of their last 20 games all starting with a win over the Lakers on Dec. 8th. The Raptors have come together ever since the departure of Rudy Gay who was traded to the Sacramento Kings in a seven player deal between the Raptors and Kings. This game will prove to be a real challenge for the Lakers and it would bode well for Ryan Kelly to have another strong game and possibly solidify his starting role on the team.
Nonetheless, you have to feel happy for the former Duke player. He has certainly taken advantage of this injury riddled season and the amount of experience he’s gaining from it certainly doesn’t hurt.
How do you feel about this move by Mike D’Antoni? Do you agree with his decision to move Ryan Kelly up to the starting lineup solely based off one game, or do you feel that Friday’s game against the Celtics was simply a fluke? Let us know down below in the comment section!
This is an article by Erick Camacho. You can follow him on Twitter: @LAKERSKB_24