The Los Angeles Lakers are one of several teams that are in the midst of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. And while players like Russell Westbrook have been able to test out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, it has still been a mess for the Lakers each night.
Against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, L.A. was without Malik Monk, Austin Reaves, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard and Kendrick Nunn. This left them with just 12 available players, three of whom were not with the team as of 72 hours ago.
Westbrook — in particular — had a tumultuous Friday. He tested out of health and safety protocols the morning of the Timberwolves game, flew from Dallas to Minneapolis and did not get himself settled until just a few hours before tip-off.
The Lakers guard spoke about his time in protocols and his thoughts on how things have been going league-wide.
“I don’t know, I think it was the morning, the 15-minute [test]. I did that twice and had three negative tests after that,” Westbrook said. “I don’t know the right word, honestly. But it is what it is. Just trying to stay as safe as possible and that’s all you can do.”
When it comes to handling the volatility of players being ruled in and out constantly, Westbrook turned the focus back to himself and his game.
“I think each individual handles it differently,” Westbrook said. “So you kind of have to ask everybody as an individual about the process.
“But just for me personally, I understand that things during times like this there may be guys are in and out, just try to make sure that I’m focused on what I’m able to do in the game for our team.”
The Lakers were able to escape with a win against the Dallas Mavericks despite this flux, but could not get past the Timberwolves, even as they were without Anthony Edwards. It was an ugly loss even for a team missing six rotation players.
Westbrook will be one of the team’s most important figures over the next few games as he can help provide stability, something L.A. desperately needs. Three of their next four games are against teams at or near the top of their conferences.
Anthony Davis undergoing MRI
Early tests on Anthony Davis suggested that his knee injury suffered against the Timberwolves was not overly serious. However, the Lakers will have Davis undergo a cautionary MRI before evaluating his playing status moving forward.
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