Through 34 games of the 2018-19 NBA season, head coach Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers have heavily relied on their depth due to numerous injuries.
As the Lakers have remained afloat with a 20-14 record in the competitive Western Conference, LeBron James suffered a left groin strain against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas and is officially listed as day-to-day.
While it is unclear how many games James will miss, Josh Hart believes he and the young core can ‘hold our own’ in his absence.
Already without the best player in the league today, Hart and the Lakers will also be without Rajon Rondo against the Sacramento Kings, according to Mike Trudell:
From Lakers PR: “Rajon Rondo sustained a Grade 3 sprain to his right ring finger in last night’s game at Golden State. He will not travel to Sacramento with the team and will be OUT for tomorrow night’s game. An update will provided on Friday.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 27, 2018
In addition, JaVale McGee is listed as questionable after missing the last five games due to pneumonia, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (ill) will make the trip to Sacramento for Thursday’s game where he’ll be listed as questionable, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 27, 2018
After leading the Lakers to an impressive Christmas Day win, this is unfortunate news for Rondo as he recently returned from hand surgery that cost him 17 games.
As for McGee, Ivica Zubac has been a pleasant surprise in his absence, averaging 17.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in three starts.
Without potentially three of their most productive veterans, Walton will rely on the young core. Since all of the attention has been on James, this gives them an opportunity to showcase the talent and competitiveness that helped them earn 35 wins during the 2017-18 season, which was the most since the Kobe Bryant-Dwight Howard era.
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