While the Los Angeles Lakers saw Brandon Ingram (sprained ankle) and Rajon Rondo (hand surgery) participate in their first full practice with the team since suffering their respective injuries, JaVale McGee was withheld due to illness.
He missed the final two games of the Lakers’ road trip because of flu-like symptoms, and is listed as questionable for Friday’s matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans. “Him and the doctors, whenever they feel he’s good enough to play, he’ll play again,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said.
McGee initially played while under the weather and turned in a stellar performance against the Charlotte Hornets, scoring 19 points on 9-for-10 shooting, to go along with 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in 18 minutes.
During his postgame interview, McGee expressed confidence he would play against the Washington Wizards on the second of a back-to-back. He was unable to do so because of an inability to administer an IV prior to tipoff.
The Lakers lost that game, and the ensuing contest two days later to the Brooklyn Nets. In both losses they were hurt by drives to the basket and points in the paint. “It’s frustrating losing. It’s frustrating giving up points at the rim,” Walton said.
“It’s been a point of emphasis this season. It’s one of the reasons we brought JaVale in, and he’s done a tremendous job of that for us all year. It’s an adjustment we have to make.”
If McGee is unable to play Friday, it will place further stress on a beleaguered Lakers defense as they will need to contain Anthony Davis and Julius Randle.