The Los Angeles Lakers had been riding an impressive five-game winning streak, but that came to an end as they were defeated soundly by the Denver Nuggets.
In addition to Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and Lonnie Walker IV being out, LeBron James was a late scratch as well due to left ankle soreness. With the Lakers missing so many players, it was a near inevitability they would fall to the Nuggets who currently own the best record in the Western Conference.
Injuries have sapped much of the momentum and continuity for Los Angeles, though the team has proven they can remain competitive even when they are without some key pieces. However, they saw another rotation player get hurt as Patrick Beverley was unable to play in the second half due to a hip injury.
After the loss, head coach Darvin Ham said he couldn’t speak to the severity of the injury until the team got back to Los Angeles, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I know it’s his hip, but we won’t know. Once we get him back to our facility and our people really get a chance to do a deep dive and look at him, then we’ll know. And you know, these things, adrenaline is pumped and you feel one way immediately after the game and then the next morning is a true tell-tale sign. So we’ll wait and see what our medical staff says once they evaluated him in the morning.”
Beverley only managed to play 12 minutes before exiting with the injury, going scoreless and grabbing only one rebound. Kendrick Nunn started in his place during the second half and had a productive outing, scoring 15 points to go along with three steals.
Although James is expected to return for the Lakers’ next game against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, losing Beverley for any period of time thins out what is already a depleted backcourt rotation. Reaves and Walker are expected to be out at least two weeks, so players like Nunn and Max Christie are likely to see increased minutes in their absence especially if Beverley has to miss time.
The veteran guard has been underwhelming for most of the 2022-23 season but seemed to be coming into a bit of an offensive groove in recent weeks. While not someone the Lakers can rely on to consistently score, he still displays the same tenacity and IQ on the defensive end that makes him a decent rotation player most nights.
For now, the team has to hope for good news on Beverley’s injury as the upcoming schedule is a difficult one and they can’t afford to drop too many games in such a tight playoff race.
Anthony Davis beginning ramp up process to return from injury
While the Beverley injury is unfortunate, there was an encouraging report about Anthony Davis and his rehab process. Davis has reportedly seen the pain in his foot subside and will soon begin the ramp up to a return to play.
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