The Los Angeles Lakers are set to begin a huge six-game road trip that kicks off against one of the best teams in the NBA in the Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers will need to play their best game of the season in order to start this road trip with a win, and that will require serious contributions from their role players as well as their stars.
The Lakers were without two starters in Wednesday night’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers as both Troy Brown Jr. and Lonnie Walker IV sat out, but it looks like both will be suiting up tonight. One player who has been starting, however, won’t take the floor.
According to Lakers Nation’s own Ryan Ward, the Lakers have listed Brown as available for tonight, and Walker is probable, but point guard Dennis Schroder is out due to personal reasons:
Troy Brown Jr. (left foot soreness) has been upgraded to AVAILABLE for tonight’s game at Milwaukee.
Lonnie Walker IV (left foot soreness) has been upgraded to PROBABLE.
Dennis Schröder (personal reasons) has been downgraded to OUT.
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) December 2, 2022
Having those wings available against a team the size of the Bucks is absolutely crucial. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, along with the returning Middleton, give the Bucks one of the biggest front lines in the NBA, and Milwaukee leads the NBA in rebounding. While Brown has been inconsistent overall offensively, he has been one of the better rebounders on the team, and the Lakers will need everyone to crash the glass on this night.
Having Walker is an obvious positive, as he is the Lakers’ third-leading scorer as well as one of the team’s best shooters. His being unavailable on Wednesday came as a surprise, but it is good to see that it is a minor issue for both he and Brown, as they have both been crucial for the Lakers this year.
It is unknown what personal issues are causing Schroder to miss this contest, but hopefully, it is able to be taken care of. Schroder has struggled to get going offensively since returning from injury, but he has been a pest defensively and is one of the better creators on the Lakers. His next chance to suit up will come Sunday when the Lakers take on the Washington Wizards.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham prepared for emotional return to Milwaukee
For Lakers head coach Darvin Ham this contest will mark his return to the city in which he spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach, helping them win the 2021 NBA Championship. And Ham admits he might get emotional.
“I don’t know, man. We’ll see,” Ham said of his return to Milwaukee. “Hopefully, I don’t cry like a baby. But that’s, you know, it’s 50-50 right now, but just getting to go back to see, you know, another part of my journey and other part of my basketball family, some people I love dearly over there. It’s been huge for me in both my playing and coaching career. Being able to make history with those guys. It’s great. I mean, just it’s good to be able to build relationships like that.”
“That’s a wonderful city. They’ve always shown me love, made me feel super duper welcome. And it reminds me a lot of home in Michigan. I’m a Midwest kid. So I’m looking forward to it. The game was another story. They’re a hell of a team. So we’re going to put our minds together and try to give our best shot and swing for the fences once we get on the court.”