Matt Barnes' surgery set for Tuesday
The Lakers announced the date of Barnes' surgery Sunday night while hosting the New York Knicks. Team doctor Steve Lombardo will perform the surgery in Los Angeles.
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The Lakers won't project a timetable for their backup swingman's recovery until after the surgery.
Barnes was hurt Friday night in a victory over New Orleans when he came down awkwardly on his leg while battling Jarrett Jack for a rebound. An MRI on Saturday revealed a torn lateral meniscus.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said the team will miss Barnes' activeness the most.
"He creates a lot of easy shots," Jackson said. "He's the kind of kid where we don't have to run anything special for him, he just finds things out of the flow of what we do. He runs himself into baskets and defensively his activity is helpful."
Jackson isn't worried about filling the minutes provided by Barnes, who has become a key reserve after signing with Los Angeles for less than his probable market value last summer to chase his first championship.
Barnes is averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while providing a defensive spark in his first season with the Lakers. He had his biggest game for Los Angeles in Minnesota on Nov. 19 when he scored 24 points on 7-for-7 shooting, including five 3-pointers without a miss.
Bryant is averaging just over 33 minutes this season, down starkly from last season's 38.8 minutes. The extra time off has helped his nagging injuries, including his perpetually sore knees, and Bryant said he'd have no problem picking up more playing time.
Jackson also expects Artest to raise his game in Barnes' absence. Artest is averaging career-lows of 7.7 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing just 27.1 minutes per game this season, making just 39.9 percent of his shots and dropping entirely out of the Lakers' offensive game plan on many nights.
"I think [Artest] looks forward to it," Jackson said of the veteran forward's increased role. "He knows this year has been kind of a cruise."
Jackson also thinks Walton will respond well to more playing time. The seven-year pro has played just 149 minutes in 21 games this season after missing most of last season with injuries.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin and The Associated Press was used in this report.