The Los Angeles Lakers will be heading to Orlando without the services of starting combo guard Avery Bradley. Due to a medical issue with his 6-year-old son, Bradley decided it would be best if he sat out the NBA restart at Walt Disney World.
The Lakers are expected to sign JR Smith to take Bradley’s place on the roster, but have a void to fill next to Danny Green in the starting lineup.
Green has spoken at length about Bradley’s impact on the Lakers, as well as Dwight Howard’s — who is considering sitting out as well — prior to training camps resuming.
Bradley was one of the Lakers best perimeter defenders, and in understanding the decision that was made, Green added he hopes the team can do him well, via “Inside the Green Room:”
“My understanding is that he made the decision because one of his sons has a health issue. And if that’s the case, of course I understand that there are some things that are bigger than basketball. I mean, it sucks because we’re going to need him, we really want him there, it would be great to have him there but we can’t. We have to go to war without him. His family comes first, more importantly. Hopefully things work out for him and his family. … Hopefully we can continue to make him proud and win some games and make some things happen without him. It’s going to be tough. It was a little blow to the team seeing he’s not going to be there with us.”
Regardless of who ends up taking Bradley’s place in the lineup, the Lakers will undoubtedly miss his scrappy perimeter defense and mid range shooting. Bradley had become such an essential part of the Lakers success, and now they will need to find a new method of attaining that.
Green, who shared a starting backcourt with Bradley for a majority of the season, will have to get used to playing alongside someone else from the tip off.
Hopefully, the Lakers can continue their successful season and win the games they need to win. Bradley will for sure be watching, and will definitely be proud of his teammates if they can do that.
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