The big question heading into the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason finale against the Clippers was the status of rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. He finally returned to practice on Thursday, but it was unclear whether or not he would play in the game.
After going through shootaround, the Lakers officially announced that they have decided to keep him out for Friday’s game, as well as veteran center Andrew Bogut who is dealing with a groin issue:
Lonzo Ball (ankle) and Andrew Bogut (groin) will not pay tonight.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 13, 2017
It is unfortunate that Ball won’t be able to play as even getting a few minutes of on-court time with his teammates would have been a positive. As head coach Luke Walton pointed out, Ball’s injury has been a setback for team chemistry which becomes more difficult to develop without the starting point guard on the floor.
The good news is that Ball’s ankle has still improved to the point where he can practice, and with the Lakers’ season opener still a week away Ball should be able to play. That is, of course, barring any unexpected setbacks as this sprained ankle has already affected Ball more than was anticipated.
Bogut has yet to be able to take the floor in the preseason. This would seemingly make it a question mark as to whether he would make the final roster as he is currently battling Vander Blue and Briante Weber for the last spot. However, based on recent comments from Walton, it sounds as if Bogut’s spot is secure regardless.
Tyler Ennis has been starting in place of Ball while Alex Caruso has gotten a ton of time recently as well. Both Blue and Weber should also see some floor time since it’s their final chance to prove their worth. Recent signee Travis Wear could also get some minutes with Bogut out as well.