The Los Angeles Lakers were undermanned on Sunday night against the Utah Jazz, with only 10 players available, and it’s a possibility they could be without a few players on Tuesday when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans. Kobe Bryant came in to the facility to get treatment on Monday, but is listed as questionable with a strained right Achilles (not the same Achilles in 2013).
Brandon Bass, who was unable to play Sunday due to a corneal abrasion, was able to participate in all of Monday’s light practice, and is looking likely to be available, though he’s officially listed as probable. Julius Randle who exited, but later re-entered last night’s game with a bone bruise, did not go through practice for precautionary reasons, and he is listed as probable.
Additionally, x-rays confirmed D’Angelo Russell’s ankle sprain, and he is deemed probable. Russell told the media today, that this is actually his first sprained ankle (which also explains his quite worrisome reaction following the initial injury). Despite preferring to play, Russell discussed what he’s been able to take away from observation.
“Basically just moving the ball,” Russell said on what he sees from the bench. “Knowing that when you move the ball, successful things happen, but when it sticks and you try to do a lot of one-on-one and ball screens and not get five guys involved, it’s tough to win that way. That’s what I’ve really noticed.”
Barring changes due to injuries, head coach Byron Scott said he’s “hesitant” to make any lineup changes just yet.
“I’m still pretty satisfied with the current unit,” Scott said Monday. “Like I said, I’m going to probably make some changes…but I don’t know when right now.”
Over the last nine games, Larry Nance Jr. is averaging 10.4 points on 61.8 percent shooting with 8.9 rebounds per game, after notching his third career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds last night. Still, Nance hesitated to take wide open shots, something Scott has been harping on during games.
“When you pass it back out, two things happen,” Scott said of Nance. “One, he’s starting to lose confidence and two, we’re running out of time, you have to take the first available good shot, that he had on a number of occasions last night. It’s just getting him to remember that, and have the confidence in himself. Obviously, myself and the rest of the coaching staff are telling him to shoot it so we have the confidence in him. He has to have that same confidence.”
For the first time against the Jazz, Nance Jr. and Randle spent some time on the floor together. Though Scott thought it worked out against the Jazz, if Anthony Davis plays tomorrow, don’t expect to see them back on the floor together against New Orleans.