Just as the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to be getting close to finally being healthy, another player suffered an injury. This time it is Lonzo Ball who will miss four to six weeks with a Grade 3 ankle sprain.
It came on the heels of both LeBron James and Rajon Rondo returning to practice. Rondo has since made his way back to the court, though the Lakers were unable to end a losing streak that sits at three games entering Sunday.
Ball was one of only three Lakers to play in every game for Luke Walton’s team this season. With all of the missed games due to injury, it’s been difficult for the Lakers to establish any sort of consistency and chemistry.
Kyle Kuzma has certainly stepped up in the midst of players dropping out, but even he believes the Lakers aren’t quite sure what they have just yet. “No, not necessarily. We’ve all played in different stints this year,” Kuzma said.
“Rondo and B.I. were out with suspensions, then B.I. gets hurt, Rondo gets hurt, ‘Bron gets hurt. We’ve never really had a full roster yet.”
Kuzma nonetheless remains optimistic about the team’s ability to come together. “We’ve still got 40-something games left to figure that out when everybody gets healthy,” he said. “You’ve got to be optimistic about that, not having a whole team and still (being) there.”
Kuzma is right in that the Lakers are right in the heart of the playoff race and there is still time to hit their stride. His head coach realizes however, that there may not be quite as much time to come together.
“We know what we have, we just haven’t been able to get a lot of time with it,” Walton noted. “We’re going to continue to work and continue to make progress. As we get healthy and further down the season, it’s going to be a lot more like cramming for a final and having to really take giant steps as a team.”
The good news for Walton and the Lakers is that they have the ultimate equalizer in James who is able to adapt and make up for just about anything. Once he returns the Lakers will have the best player on their side as they try and overcome all of the issues they’ve dealt with this season.
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