All the attention surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers the past couple of days has been about LeBron James as he is expected to miss at least two weeks due to a right foot injury that he suffered in the win against the Dallas Mavericks.
Without James, the Lakers will need to rely heavily on Anthony Davis and the rest of the roster to try and keep them afloat in his absence. It hasn’t gotten off to a good start as they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on the first end of a back-to-back set.
Los Angeles might be even more shorthanded when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder as Darvin Ham said he doubts D’Angelo Russell will be able to return, via Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet:
D’Angelo Russell is officially out tonight in Memphis. Darvin Ham said he has doubt that Russell will be ready to go at OKC tomorrow, but hasn’t ruled that out.
LAL will need Schöder and Reaves especially to pick up the playmaking with LeBron also out.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 28, 2023
Russell has missed the past two games due to a right ankle sprain he suffered in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors. Although not thought to be serious, Russell must still be experiencing some pain and swelling in his ankle if he is considered doubtful against the Thunder.
Fortunately, Los Angeles catches a break as Oklahoma City will likely be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as he was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Tuesday. Gilgeous-Alexander torched the Lakers for 30 points in their last matchup, but without him L.A. has a great chance of ending their road trip on a high note.
After the game against the Thunder, the Lakers’ next game comes on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hopefully Russell is able to return for that game considering Minnesota is a couple of games ahead of Los Angeles in the standings. It also would make for a fun revenge game narrative for the guard going up against the team that just traded him away less than a month ago.
Jarred Vanderbilt believes Lakers are deep team that can win in variety of ways
Despite losing to the Grizzlies, the Lakers were able to hang around for most of the night up until the game got away from them in the fourth quarter. Their resilience enables them to compete with just about anyone, and Jarred Vanderbilt believes the depth they have allows them to win in multiple ways.
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