At this point of the 2021-22 season, every team is dealing with some sort of injury to a key rotation player and the Los Angeles Lakers are no different.
Head coach Frank Vogel recently announced that Kendrick Nunn’s season debut is going to be delayed after his knee did not respond well to his ramp-up period. The Lakers have been playing without Nunn, so the impact is relatively minimal but the team has also been missing Carmelo Anthony due to a back issue.
Vogel declared Anthony out prior to their game against the Utah Jazz, his third straight game missed, but did reveal that there is some hope that he can suit up for their next contest.
“Carmelo is out again,” Vogel said. “He’s getting closer, but the back is still too tight to play. He’s still day-to-day where hopefully he can be available on Wednesday.
Anthony has been a mainstay in Vogel’s rotation and he noted what L.A. is missing from the veteran forward. “No. 1 was scoring, but I thought he’s had a purity of his defensive effort throughout the whole year that has been good for our group. But definitely the floor spacing and being able to put points on the board.”
Even without Anthony, the Lakers were able to pull off an improbable victory over the Jazz, but there were certainly stretches where they could have used his scoring and outside shooting. Vogel has been complimentary of Anthony, calling him a bright spot because of his durability but there are clearly other ways that the 37-year-old has impacted the team.
Even if Anthony is not able to suit up on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, Vogel and the Lakers may have found something with some of their lineups featuring Austin Reaves and Stanley Johnson. However, Anthony making his return would be more than welcomed and it will be fun to see him back on the floor helping the Purple and Gold get some much-needed momentum back.
Anthony explains how to take shots in crunch time
Throughout his career, Anthony has been one of the NBA’s premier scorers and that shows up especially in crunch time. In tight games, it is can be difficult for players to get those timely baskets, and Anthony detailed how he approaches those end-of-game situations.
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