As of Tuesday evening, Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. was in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
“I feel good,” Nance said, but he didn’t provide many details.
Nance suffered a concussion during the Lakers’ Sunday win over the Phoenix Suns. The injury occurred near the end of the first quarter when Nance’s head hit the court hard. He briefly left the game before returning to make two free throws. He then left for the remainder of the game and was diagnosed with a concussion.
Nance said Monday the injury caused headaches and noise sensitivity. He had to wait until 24 hours after he sustained the injury to enter the concussion protocol.
The NBA’s concussion return-to-participation exertion protocol includes a series of activities the player must complete and remain symptom-free through each step. If the player does not remain symptom-free, he must return to the last step during which he was symptom-free.
Nance said Monday he expected to be ready for Thursday’s game in Sacramento.
The Lakers have had Nance coming off the bench in a second unit that’s played well for them this season.
With Nance unavailable, small forward Luol Deng played the entire first quarter Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers’ full second unit included three guards — Jordan Clarkson, Jose Calderon and Lou Williams — in addition to forward Brandon Ingram and center Tarik Black.
Dangerous without stars
The Lakers faced a Dallas team without its biggest star, Dirk Nowitzki.
Drawing on personal experience, their coach warned them that a team without its star can be dangerous.
“It’s a great opportunity for other players coming in that are hungry to play, to try to earn minutes and prove that they should be getting put in the rotation,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said.
Walton’s first example came from a Lakers playoff game in 2006 when Phoenix Suns guard Raja Bell was suspended for a takedown of Kobe Bryant.
“As players we kind of thought, ‘OK this is nice, he’s the one that’s been hounding Kobe all over the floor,’” said Walton, a forward on that Lakers team. “[Leandro Barbosa] came out and had a great game and they ended up beating us.”
The Lakers lost that series in seven games.
Walton’s second example went back fewer years — to last season when the Golden State Warriors, for whom he was an assistant coach, lost to the Lakers at Staples Center. The Lakers were without Bryant that night.
Metta loves Carlisle
As Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle spoke to reporters before the game, Metta World Peace joined the media scrum.
“That’s a genius right there,” World Peace said. “Respect the genius.”
Carlisle joked that he didn’t want to see World Peace on the court during the game.
He was then asked what it’s like to see World Peace stick around for another NBA season.
“Another year?” Carlisle said. “He’ll be here long after we’re gone. Listen, Ronnie — I can’t call him Metta — he’s a great guy. He has absolute love and passion for the game.”
World Peace, whose name was Ron Artest when he played for Carlisle in Indiana, texts Carlisle every few weeks to talk about coaching. They plan to have a meeting at some point.
“He wants to stay in the game after he’s done playing,” Carlisle said. “He keeps informing me he’s in too great a shape and having too much fun to give it up right now.”
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli