The Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 4 loss to the Phoenix Suns was a disappointing one but also somewhat expected considering the team was without Anthony Davis in the second half due to a groin strain. Additionally, starting shooting gurd Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was also forced to miss the game with knee soreness.
Caldwell-Pope injured the knee in Game 3 and missed most of the second half. He tested it out before Game 4 but unfortunately did not feel healthy enough to play.
With a short turnaround for Game 5 on Tuesday night, Monday’s practice was a big one for Caldwell-Pope is terms of testing his knee to see if it will be ready to play in an important playoff game. While he said it is doing better, he still is not yet sure if he’ll be able to play.
“I’m fine, feeling much better,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Thoughts on the game yesterday, I wanted to play it was just 50-50. Felt a little more soreness in my knee and so I kind of called it, not played. But I’m feeling better, still questionable about going tomorrow but just feeling better, day-to-day.”
Caldwell-Pope added that his workout went well on Monday and he didn’t feel any pain.
“I don’t know, I haven’t really tested it out so I don’t know what I can do and what I can’t do. But I did have a little light, little hard workout here today and I felt fine, no pain I would say. So we’re just gonna see, still day-to-day. I feel soreness here and there but we’ll see. I felt good when I woke up.”
With Davis likely missing Game 5, getting Caldwell-Pope back would be good for the Lakers so they’re not down two starters. Even though Caldwell-Pope hasn’t shot well this series, he has still proven to be the team’s best option defending Devin Booker.
Caldwell-Pope appreciates James’ encouragement
A moment that went viral towards the end of the Lakers’ Game 2 win over the Suns was when Caldwell-Pope passed up an open shot due to his previous struggles and LeBron James was seen getting in his face encouraging him to shoot.
Caldwell-Pope spoke on that moment and appreciated James’ leadership and expressed confidence that he will continue to shoot through his slump moving forward.
“That meant a lot to me. He’s one of the leaders on the team, he’s a guy I look up to, one of my big brothers. So it meant a lot. Me and Bron have been through a lot, we’ve been here as a Laker so I kind of felt that energy. I know he wants me to shoot the ball regardless of how many I’ve missed, just continue to shoot. We’ve been through it before.
“So my mindset is just trying to stay focused in the moment, be aggressive, shoot the ball when I’m open and just try to play to the best of my ability and try not to worry about the shots that I’ve missed already or the shots I’ve missed in a game. Just try to continue to shoot the ball and stay focused.”
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