Yet Wafer might have emerged with a winning hand from Friday’s news that the NBA suspended Kobe Bryant two games for a flagrant foul on Memphis guard Mike Miller in the fourth quarter Wednesday night. There is a strong possibility that Wafer, a second-round draft pick who has played all of six games and 19 minutes as a rookie, will start in Bryant’s place tonight against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. “He has a world of talent,” Odom added. “He’s a great offensive player.” Jackson surprised even the 20-year-old guard by playing him briefly on Christmas against Miami’s Dwyane Wade. Injury report: The Lakers suffered a scare when Lamar Odom twisted his right ankle driving the lane at the end of practice. Odom and Jackson both thought the 6-foot-10 forward would play tonight. Bryant stayed home with the flu and is not allowed to attend either game for which he has been suspended. Hard knocks: Jackson was asked what would have happened in his playing days if Bryant had delivered an elbow to the chin like he did to Miller. “That would have instigated a fight,” Jackson said. “If you did something like that, it definitely meant that you weren’t playing the person as a basketball player, you were out there to initiate rough stuff.” No Kobe: Odom said Friday he wanted all five starters to finish in double figures playing without Bryant. Jackson described his players as “licking their chops” thinking about the 30 shots that are now available for the taking. “I feel like this offense provides a lot of opportunities,” center Chris Mihm added, “and we’ve got a lot of guys that are, in my mind, very underrated offensively and defensively.” Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EL SEGUNDO – Through the first three months of the season, Lakers guard Von Wafer has garnered as much attention for his card playing as anything he has done on an NBA court. There was nothing subtle about coach Phil Jackson’s decision to give Wafer a copy of “Poker for Dummies” when he handed out books to the Lakers players on their six-game road trip last month. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “Von has a lot of game,” Jackson said. “He’s an aggressive player. Sometimes you’ve got to harness him a little bit.” The Lakers are down to just 11 available players, three of them rookies, with Bryant suspended. Wafer returned to the active roster only last week when guard Laron Profit was lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. “I just try not to put too much pressure on myself,” Wafer said. Wafer has been described by Jackson as an “unstoppable” scorer in practice. The 20-year-old guard admitted Saturday he might benefit from not having to find his rhythm coming off the bench.