Even though the Los Angeles Lakers’ season got off to a bit of a rough start, it is way too early to remove their status as a title contender.
Any time a roster is rebuilt on the fly, there will always be an adjustment period and that is the main takeaway when watching the Lakers as the players are clearly still learning how to play with each other. However, it has been difficult for head coach Frank Vogel to truly evaluate his roster because injuries are already taking their toll.
Talen Horton-Tucker and Trevor Ariza will miss extended time due to thumb and ankle injuries, respectively, while Kendrick Nunn and Wayne Ellington are on the shelf for the short term. Things only got worse when LeBron James hurt his ankle in the Laker win against the Memphis Grizzlies and was later downgraded from probable to questionable against the San Antonio Spurs.
James was eventually ruled out against the Spurs, and Vogel revealed that James will be considered questionable for Wednesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and provided more details about his ankle sprain, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Vogel said LeBron is questionable for the 2nd game of the b2b tomorrow in OKC, but didn’t rule him out. He also said that James ankle is sore in a different spot from last year, noting that he didn’t re-injure the high ankle sprain that kept James out for 26 games. https://t.co/2EbkgFK0wv
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 26, 2021
Seeing James go down against the Grizzlies was a scary moment as it looked like he had been seriously injured, but fortunately, he was able to remain in the game. While it is encouraging to hear that the injury occurred in a different spot than last year’s high-ankle sprain, there is a moderate level of concern that this issue may linger.
L.A. should be able to lean on Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis if James is forced to miss more time, but this is definitely an auspicious start to the 2021-22 season. It would be a shame if injuries once again ruined the Purple and Gold’s chances to compete for a championship.
Frank Vogel believes road trip will help build chemistry
The Lakers embarked on their first road trip of the young season and this time around will have the chance to bond off the court because the traveling party has been fully vaccinated. Vogel believes the trip will be a good opportunity to build some chemistry, a big change from last year.
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