The start of the 2021-22 season has gotten off to a rough start for the Los Angeles Lakers after they lost to the Golden State Warriors on Opening Night and then the Phoenix Suns in their second game.
It was clear the Lakers were going to need time to figure things out as a group given all the new additions to the roster, but injuries have already robbed them of a chance to get off on the right foot. Los Angeles was down four projected rotation players, with Kendrick Nunn arguably being the most important one.
Nunn missed the game due to an ankle sprain he suffered in preseason, but it was revealed later that he suffered a bone bruise in his knee that will keep him out at least a few weeks.
Head coach Frank Vogel discussed the loss of Nunn ahead of their game against the Suns on Friday night. “Kendrick is a hell of a player. We did have him penciled in as a rotational guy before camp started, and then obviously you feel it out once camp gets going. He can really score the ball, he can play off the ball, I love the idea of him playing off of Russ and LeBron and what he’s going to be able to do on the second side,” Vogel said.
“So it’s a big loss for us. But so is Talen, so is Trevor, we had those guys penciled in as rotation guys too. So the good thing is we have plenty of guys that I trust on this team. The guys that were in the rotation on Opening Night and tonight are guys I believe in and I feel like are going to do a good job for sure.”
Nunn was projected to be a major scoring threat off the bench who could soak up minutes either on or off the ball, and his absence only exacerbates the depth at the guard spots. Alongside Nunn, Talen Horton-Tucker and Wayne Ellington remain out, while Malik Monk looks to shake off a groin strain.
The backcourt was a strength for the Lakers heading into the season, but without Nunn in the mix, it forces Vogel to lean on his stars even more than he already does.
LeBron James loves Kendrick Nunn’s competitiveness
Nunn was making an early impression on the coaching staff and his teammates for how he looked in the offseason, and LeBron James revealed that he has loved the guard’s competitive nature when he is on the court.
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