Before Friday, there had been no rumblings about any sort of injury bothering Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell so it came as a bit of a surprise when Russell was ruled out of Friday’s contest with the San Antonio Spurs due to a sore knee.
The Lakers certainly missed Russell’s scoring and playmaking ability in the 116-107 loss to Gregg Popovich’s squad, but they still impressed the Spurs’ head coach regardless.
With the Lakers facing an extremely rough portion of their schedule, the hope is that they won’t be without their point guard for too long. As of now, Russell is being listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls according to the Lakers:
D’Angelo Russell is considered questionable for Sunday’s game against Chicago due to a sore left knee.
Head coach Luke Walton also revealed that Russell had been playing through the knee pain for a little while, but it got worse, leading to the decision to sit him:
“His knee has been bothering him (but) he’s been playing through it,” head coach Luke Walton said. “It started hurting more, so they decided last night when he got to the arena to shut him down.”
Despite his inconsistencies and turnover problems, the Lakers can ill-afford to be without Russell for any extended period. He is still the Lakers’ best player when it comes to creating shots for both himself and others.
Knee issues are definitely nothing to mess around with and the Lakers would be wise to take precautions in order to ensure that this doesn’t become anything more serious. Russell is a large part of both the present and future.
In Russell’s absence on Friday, Jose Calderon stepped into the starting lineup and was solid with five points, three assists, and no turnovers. If the Lakers want to be at their best, however, Russell needs to be in the lineup.