Officially eliminated from the playoffs and guaranteed a top-10 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers’ focus has very much shifted to the future. However, before the Lakers can begin improving through the draft and free agency, there are 16 games remaining on their schedule.
Shorthanded and 3-7 in their last 10 games, the Lakers got two injured players back on the practice court on Monday, according to ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin:
Nick Young and Jordan Hill are both on the court at the start of Lakers practice.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 17, 2014
Jordan Hill has yet to play a game in the month of March with a knee injury. On the season, Hill, who will be a free agent this summer, is averaging 8.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Throughout the season, Hill has provided energy off the bench, but has also found himself in and out of Mike D’Antoni’s doghouse.
Nick Young fractured his knee against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 5 and was sidelined for 18 days. He returned in the home game against the Brooklyn Nets, scoring 10 points in 20 minutes, but has been held out since due to knee soreness. Young recently expressed his desire to play when the Lakers face the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, which will be the second meeting between the two teams in less than a week.
Should Hill and Young return in the foreseeable future, it would provide a boost to the Lakers’ bench that has managed to maintain productivity, but is thin on bodies. The Lakers are of course without Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the season and according to D’Antoni, Steve Nash also won’t return, but an official announcement has yet to come from the team.
Lakers Nick Young And Kent Bazemore Have Fun At The L.A. Food Bank