The Los Angeles Lakers are getting some of their injured reinforcements back in the form of Juan Toscano-Anderson. The Lakers forward is returning to the lineup after a 10-game absence due to an ankle injury for Wednesday’s cross-country battle with the Miami Heat.
Toscano-Anderson has played in just 14 of the Lakers’ 34 games this season. Some of these missed games were due to being in and out of the rotation, but he’s missed the team’s last 10 games with an ankle injury. The Lakers went 4-6 in those games but also lost Anthony Davis to injury during that span.
Despite Toscano-Anderson being one of the Lakers’ only true wing players, he found himself on the outside looking in as he lost his first nine games of the season, posting a negative plus-minus in six of the nine games. L.A. is 3-11 with Toscano-Anderson in the lineup.
In his most recent appearance, a loss to the Toronto Raptors, he got his only start of the season thus far. It’s unlikely Toscano-Anderson will be in the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Heat, but perhaps he can play a role off the bench as the team searches for answers with Davis out.
Austin Reaves and Thomas Bryant have stepped up in a big way while Davis has been out. But the Lakers are still searching for consistent contributions from the players that aren’t LeBron James or Russell Westbrook. Perhaps the L.A. fan favorite can provide a spark in his return.
One way for him to make an impact would be to drastically improve as a 3-point shooter. Toscano-Anderson is a career 35.2% shooter from beyond the arc but is shooting a miserable 18.2% in his 14 appearances this season.
He is also shooting nearly nine percent below his career average from the field as he is a 51.8% shooter for his career and is hitting 42.9% of his shots this season.
Being in and out of the rotation can have an effect on a shooter’s rhythm, but he’ll need to stay ready and make an impact if he wants to earn his way back into the rotation full-time.
Westbrook hoping to see role players step up
Following a 129-110 victory over the Orlando Magic, Westbrook was happy to see the way certain role players stepped up. He admitted that the Lakers won’t be able to replace Davis, but said that — collectively — players are going to need to play better to bridge the gap until he returns.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!