Lakers Rumors: Wenyen Gabriel On Pace To Return Against the Nuggets
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis has been playing at an MVP level during the 2022-23 season, and a large reason why is because he has been exclusively playing center under head coach Darvin Ham.

Ham has rediscovered Davis’s potential as a two-way terror and the Los Angeles Lakers have benefitted from the star big man’s return to dominance. However, while Davis has been unlocked playing center, he has still thrived next to another big alongside him.

Wenyen Gabriel was carving out a bigger role in the rotation as Davis’s running mate as well as the sole center in bench lineups because of his high motor on both ends of the floor. Gabriel was playing well to begin the team’s six-game road trip before he was ruled out of their remaining four games with a shoulder injury.

Fortunately, the injury didn’t seem serious at the time and he is reportedly set to make his return to the lineup when the Lakers play the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes:

Darvin Ham also gave an update on Gabriel after practice on Thursday, confirming he is trending in the right direction, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Getting Gabriel back will be a huge help for Los Angeles, who has been forced to play even smaller in his absence. Thomas Bryant filled in as the backup big when Gabriel was out, but Ham largely used three-guard lineups to close games.

The timing is good for Gabriel and the Lakers considering they will be going up against the reigning NBA MVP in Nikola Jokic. Even in the modern NBA where traditional bigs aren’t as important, it’s still crucial to have size in the frontcourt and Gabriel will help in that regard.

It remains to be seen how much Ham will choose to play Gabriel in his first game back from injury, but it’s always a good thing for the Lakers to get players back and be at full strength.

Darvin Ham happy with Wenyen Gabriel’s play but wants to continue building his confidence

Gabriel has won over his teammates and the fans with his energy off the bench, earning Ham’s trust in the process. Ham has spoken glowingly of the young big man since becoming head coach and while he is happy with how he has played so far, he wants to continue building Gabriel’s confidence.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

This Day In Lakers History: Shaquille O’Neal Breaks Record During Sweep Of Nets In 2002 NBA Finals

After cruising to a quick 3-0 lead over the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers found…

Rumor Mill: Lakers Trying to Land Michael Beasley in Three-Team Deal

With the NBA trading deadline less than 24 hours away, general mangers…

Frank Vogel Recalls Awkward Introductory Lakers Press Conference With Rob Pelinka

With the 2019-2020 season officially in the rearview mirror, the Los Angeles Lakers can look toward the offseason…

Lakers’ LeBron James: Facing Suns’ Chris Paul In Playoffs Is ‘Beautiful Thing’

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers begin their championship repeat efforts on Sunday against Chris Paul and the Phoenix…