UPDATE (11:25 AM PST on November 4): After being “probable” yesterday, Ryan Kelly will play his first game of the season after dealing with hamstring issues according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Ryan Kelly will play tonight
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 4, 2014
The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled with injuries since training camp began, robbing the team of a number of players who can make a huge difference on the team. One of those was second-year forward Ryan Kelly.
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Kelly injured his hamstring early in training camp and has not taken the floor for the Lakers yet. That is set to change as Kelly practiced today and is probable for tomorrow’s game against the Phoenix Suns according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Ryan Kelly (hamstring) practiced for about an hour today and is “probable” for Tuesday night’s game.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 3, 2014
Kelly was one of the more pleasant surprises last season averaging eight points and almost four rebounds in his rookie year. He is also capable of stretching the floor, shooting 34 percent from three-point range.
His return can help the Lakers in a number of ways, providing necessary depth in the frontcourt, especially with Julius Randle being lost for the season. His ability to spread the floor will also be a welcome addition as the Lakers lack sharpshooters to make the defense pay for packing the paint.
The Lakers sorely need shot makers as Kobe Bryant has been the only consistent player who can get his own shot. Jordan Hill has proven he can make open jumpers, but everyone else on the roster has been very inconsistent from outside. It may not make a huge difference, but Kelly’s return at least gives the Lakers more options and a much-needed shooter.[divide]
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