The Los Angeles Lakers put up a valiant effort against the rival Boston Celtics on Thursday night, but were unable to come out with a victory.
The team was shorthanded once again without Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Markieff Morris and Andre Drummond, but somewhat surprisingly the team did have point guard Dennis Schroder available.
A couple hours before game time, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel revealed that Schroder was dealing with a foot infection and was unlikely to play. But the point guard shook that off and took the floor for the Lakers, though he did look less than 100 percent on the court.
Schroder shot just 3-of-8 from the field and finished with just eight points, but he did also add eight assists without a single turnover.
For Schroder to play despite being less than his best would seem to go against what the Lakers have done for the most part this season. But Vogel ensured that Schroder’s issue would not be worsened by taking the floor.
“We asked that,” Vogel said. “We said if it’s going to cost us the next two or three games and just hold him out this game and the medical team did not feel like it was something that was going to cost us games going forward. Just something that is going to be uncomfortable to play with.”
Vogel added though that it was clear that Schroder was playing at less than 100%.
“The foot was a problem. He really almost didn’t play, but really wanted to be in there. He was in a lot of pain. It took a while to get him to loosen it up. Right up until our team meeting we were still uncertain whether he was going to be able to play, but he definitely wanted to be in there.
“Credit to him for gutting it out and playing through pain. A lot of credit to him, so when we pulled him out with seven minutes left … we knew he was done for the night.”
Schroder is as tough as they come so it’s no surprise that he pushed to take the floor. The point guard offered no excuses and felt that he was good enough to play. Armed with the knowledge that the infection couldn’t get worse, it was a no-brainer for him to give it a go.
“I try to give everything I have,” Schroder said following the loss. “I just try to be out there with my teammates, try to get a W and I felt like I could play and try to give everything I have. That’s it, pretty much. I don’t like to miss games.”
With Davis and James still out, Schroder has needed to take on a much larger role for this Lakers team. He is being looked at not only to be the team’s top scorer, but also to facilitate for the role players who are far more reliant on the team’s stars to create for them.
Schroder giving it everything he has should be applauded, but it was clear that he was not his normal self. The quickness and explosion that has been a part of his game since he entered the NBA was not there against the Celtics and the Lakers missed that. Even still, he attempted to be there for his teammates and it shows what he is made of.
Davis cleared for full on-court activity
On the plus side for the Lakers is that they are inching towards being back at full strength. The first step towards that is the return of big man Anthony Davis and he could be back in uniform very soon according to Frank Vogel.
“Good news,” Vogel said. “He was evaluated again upon return of this trip and he has been cleared for full on-court activity, full practice and anything we want to do with him to begin his real ramp-up and return to play.”
As far as his actual return, it looks very possible that he could be back during the Lakers’ two-game set with the Dallas Mavericks.
“It’s unlikely in the two Utah [Jazz] games, but not out of the question. We’ll see the next few days and hopefully he’s available after that.”
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!