The Los Angeles Lakers may get a significant boost in the backcourt tonight against the New York Knicks. D’Angelo Russell has missed 12 of the last 13 games for the Lakers and it appears he’s on pace to return to the floor on Sunday.
According to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, Luke Walton expects Russell to play tonight against the visiting Knicks:
Barring a setback, Luke Walton is expecting D'Angelo Russell to play tonight. Nick Young has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 11, 2016
Russell’s absence has taken a toll on this Lakers squad. The second-year point guard has been sorely missed with the once-potent Los Angeles offense sputtering as of late with both Russell and Nick Young stuck on the bench with injuries.
With Russell and Young out of the lineup, Lou Williams has been the focal point of the offense. Jordan Clarkson has struggled and Julius Randle’s hip injury seems to still be bothering him leaving Williams to shoulder the load.
Although Williams has been on fire as of late averaging 30.0 points per game in the month of December. Unfortunately, the Lakers have lost all five games played this month and need arguably their two best offensive weapons outside of Williams back on the floor to help get this team back on track ahead of the upcoming seven-game road trip.
Along with Russell seemingly ready to get back to work, the Lakers will hold out hope that Young can return as well on Sunday. The veteran was upgraded from doubtful to questionable ahead of the matchup with the Knicks and may be able to play if given the green light before tipoff at the Staples Center.