While the Lakers have not had the types of injury issues this year which have decimated their roster in recent seasons, they are being hit pretty severely by the injury bug recently. Kobe Bryant has been dealing with a sore shoulder for some time, Larry Nance was almost shut down for the year with nagging knee pain, Jordan Clarkson just missed a game with a strained knee, and Lou Williams remains out for at least another week with a hamstring strain.
We can now add rookie Anthony Brown to that list:
Anthony Brown will be out for a minimum of four weeks after an MRI revealed a stress reaction in his right foot.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 5, 2016
When adding Brown to Kobe, Williams, and, depending on how cautious the team is, Clarkson the Lakers are now pretty thin on the wing. If all the aforementioned players were to sit out Sunday’s game against the Warriors, the Lakers depth on the perimeter would be limited to D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, Marcelo Huertas, and….Metta World Peace. They could, theoretically, play Ryan Kelly at small forward as well, but we all know that’s not practical based on last season’s experiment.
Even if Kobe and Clarkson return to the lineup, however, the team is shallow on the wing but overloaded in the frontcourt. All you need to do is look at the DNP logs to see the players who typically do not play are Metta (who is more of a SF/PF now than a pure wing), Sacre, and Kelly. Recently you could add Tarik Black to that list. Huertas has not been playing either, but Williams’ injury has thrust him into the lineup and he’s looked decent — at least on offense — now that he’s playing again.
The unused depth at the big positions matters here because the Lakers do not have a roster spot to call up a player for a 10-day contract. In order to add, say Jabari Brown (who just returned from his season in China and is on the D-Fenders), the Lakers would need to waive a player in order to free up a roster spot. Would the Lakers waive a player to call up Brown (or maybe Vander Blue or Josh Maggette who are also on the D-Fenders) in order to add some depth?
At this point in the year, this is a question worth asking and one the team should probably consider. A call-up won’t affect the win/loss column, but it could help stabilize a battered wing rotation down on healthy bodies while also giving the team a look at a player who might deserve a summer league invite in July.
In the meantime, though, heal up quick Anthony Brown. His rookie season wasn’t lighting the world on fire statistically and his coach has been on him in the press lately to start showing more offensively, but he’s a fine defensive prospect with an offensive profile which has value in this league. The Lakers could always use more players like him and that starts, of course, with him being healthy enough where he’s given a chance to develop into the player he can be.
J C says
I haven’t checked the schedule but I wonder if tomorrow is our last game against GS.
I hope Kobe suits up.
I haven’t seen anything too thrilling about A Brown this year personally. He seems like a player who’ll get lost in the off-season shuffle.
I’m looking forward to seeing Russell versus Curry tomorrow. Maybe Russell can learn a few things.
Curry and the Warriors are the hottest ticket in the league right now.
Clay Bertrand says
I see us picking up 3-5 more wins this season with the potential wins being against, Orlando, the Knicks, Phoenix Twice, and Denver…….any call ups would only increase our likelihood of winning at this point. But what purpose would that really serve??? I’d love for them to cut Kelly and bring up Vander Blue but that’d just be another end of the year tryout for Blue. The status quo may make for some wacky lineups even by Byron Scott standards, but its probably the best course of action under the circumstances.
I gotta admit though, I’d trade any and all wins we end up getting the rest of the year to just beat the crappy CELTICS!!! It’d be awesome to get game 82 against the Jazz too for Kobe. There will be some magic in the building that day for sure……(Besides Earvin)
If the Lakers have 4 injured players who will be out for an extended time they could get a hardship provision for a 16th slot. I don’t think their depth issue is that big a deal considering their current record. And if it the situation got worse they cold request the hardship provision to add players.
Hardship provision is no longer possible after the trade deadline. Need to waive someone to add anyone from d-league
Clay Bertrand says
Can the fans be awarded a hardship provision??? I’ve watched every game and a few of them twice (I always TV rewatch games I attend live). A lot of us masochists have watched every minute this year. We play Golden State in 3 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about Hardship!!!!!! ; )
We fans need to take our talents elsewhere …
1St time in history
Team with % over 900
Team with % under 200%
Jimmy just setting records like crazy.
J C says
That particular distinction should heretofore be referred to as a “Jimmy.”
I doubt it shall be threatened – until of course Phila plays the Warriors again.