The 2021-22 season has been a rollercoaster for most teams, but especially for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have dealt with a revolving door of players in and out of the lineup.
Between injuries and protocols, the Lakers and head coach Frank Vogel have not been able to field the same lineups for more than a couple of games. However, one constant for the team has been Carmelo Anthony, who appeared in every game but was unfortunately ruled out for the first time prior to their game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night due to back tightness.
Despite Anthony missing the matchup with the Kings, Frank Vogel has been happy to see the veteran so eager to suit up every night.
“Melo has been a real bright spot of our season, that’s the simplest way to put it,” Vogel said. “Wanting to be in there, like I love the old-school approach of some of our guys, Russ, Bron, Melo, those guys, it doesn’t matter how late they are in their careers, they want to play every night. And it’s a league where there’s a lot of load-managing going on and whatnot, and those guys are really not interested in that.
“If there’s games to be played, they want to compete, they want to be there for their teammates and they want to win. And I commend all three of those guys, even other guys on our roster as well, but those three guys in particular. The fact that Melo and Russ have played every game is not a small feat, it’s not easy to have that type of perfect attendance and durability. So he’s been a bright spot this season.”
For an older team like the Lakers, it makes sense for them to want to try and preserve their older players until the playoffs but none of them have looked to sit out when they are capable of playing. In a year where availability has been at a premium, Anthony has proven to be one of the few constants for the Purple and Gold.
Kendrick Nunn will reportedly make Lakers debut before end of January
While Anthony has appeared in almost every game, Kendrick Nunn has yet to make his 2021-22 debut due to a lingering bone bruise in his knee. However, it appears the guard is nearing a return to the court as he will reportedly play before the end of January.
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