The Los Angeles Lakers acknowledged full well that losing Avery Bradley for the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida, dealt a major blow to their lineup and rotation.
Aside from his integral role on the team, Bradley had been one of the most outspoken players in voicing the concerns over finishing the season amid efforts being made to combat racial injustice. However, it was the health risks involved with his 6-year-old son that ultimately served as a deciding factor for Bradley to remain at home.
The decision still came as somewhat of a surprise considering he had a chance to play a part in securing his first championship ring alongside a Lakers team that is pegged as one of the favorites inside the NBA bubble.
Regardless, it appears there is no fear of missing out and he has offered them his support from Los Angeles. Danny Green is hoping the Lakers can make Bradley proud over the next several months by continuing to raise awareness while ending the year on a high note.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Bradley is confident the team will be able to get the job done without him:
“In regards to my team, I am positive they will be fine,” Bradley told Yahoo Sports. “A championship is meaningful in this league. That energy alone will see them through and I support them.”
Bradley’s role as a starter in the backcourt and go-to defender on the perimeter left the Lakers with a rather notable void to fill. Head coach Frank Vogel has indicated he will rely more heavily on Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma.
JR Smith and Dion Waiters were given opportunities during seeding games to show what they can contribute, and the latter had his share of positive highlights.
Vogel focused on the present
Now with the Lakers poised to face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, not having Bradley to help defend Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is a significant talking point.
“Avery is one of the best perimeter defenders in the game, so certainly he’ll be missed in a series like this,” Vogel said.
“But I have great confidence in the guys we have here in the bubble with us. We’re not thinking about who’s not here. We’re thinking about the guys who are here and we’re very confident in their abilities.”
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