The Los Angeles Lakers host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday in a rematch of an earlier meeting which saw the Lakers prevail in Atlanta 123-116. The Lakers, of course, have been dealing with injuries recently as D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, and Julius Randle all missed Friday’s game against the Warriors.
While Russell is out for the next couple of weeks, the status of Young and Randle is more of a day-to-day thing as Young is dealing with a sprained toe while Randle suffers from a hip pointer.
According to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, head coach Luke Walton expects Young to play tomorrow while Randle’s availability remains unclear:
Luke Walton expects that Nick Young will play tomorrow. Not so sure about Randle
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 26, 2016
The return of Young is a needed one as he has been one of the best scorers and defenders on the Lakers this season. He is currently shooting 40 percent from three-point range and has often taken on the task of guarding the opposing team’s best player. In that previous Hawks game he played a large role in forcing sharp-shooter Kyle Korver into an awful 1-6 shooting night.
Getting Randle back is just as important for the Lakers as many believe he has been the best player on the team this season. His playmaking ability is sorely missed, especially with Russell also out.
Head coach Luke Walton has spoken about the energy that Randle and Young bring to the team just because of their style of play so getting both back on the court would be welcome. Getting two starters back would also allow the Lakers to get their outstanding bench unit back together.
With the tough stretch the Lakers have coming up, including a four game road trip in five nights, getting Young and Randle healthy will go a long way in not letting the team fall in too deep of a hole.