After Nick Young left Tuesday’s loss to the Pelicans with what was originally being called a strained achilles tendon, we have been waiting on this MRI results to get the official word. Those results are now in and, per the Lakers, Young has a strained calf muscle in his right leg and is out 2-4 weeks.
This is both a dose of good news and stroke of bad luck/timing that will be difficult to manage.
On the good side, whenever the words “achilles” are tied to an injury report and an MRI is needed, I have trepidations. I know full tears can usually be diagnosed without an MRI, but the possibility of a partial tear or damage to the achilles in general could have taken him out of the lineup for a lot longer than the 2-4 week estimate.
That said, the Lakers will now be without Young for upwards of a month which is a major blow to their lineup. As their starting shooting guard, Young plays 25 minutes a night and scores 13 points a game. Replacing those minutes and production is not a minor feat. Further, Young is one of the team’s best 3-point shooters, connecting on 41.8% of shots behind the arc while taking 6 attempts a night. And this says nothing of the fact that Young is often asked to guard the other team’s best wing scorer.
There’s simply no replacement on the roster who can step in and mirror Young’s skill set. (Imagine saying this two months ago! Life comes at you fast.)
What makes this more difficult is that D’Angelo Russell is also out for at least another week, so there is not easy way to shuffle the team’s wing rotation without either playing the guys already in the rotation more minutes or going deeper into the bench to guys who have not been playing to try and supplement the current personnel groupings. I mean there’s a reason Huertas and Metta haven’t been playing this season even though the Lakers have been a team which plays 10 guys a night.
If I were Luke Walton, I’d look to Clarkson, Lou, and Ingram and tell them they’re all about to play at least 7-8 minutes more a night and maybe even more — at least until Russell comes back. Those three are already playing minutes, are rotation level players, and have proven skill sets which help the team. Manufacture lineups where those guys get more burn and go from there. I understand Luke wants to try and keep his all bench unit together — I would want to do that too — but there are ways to still do that even if Clarkson starts.
In any event, I hope Young can heal up and that there are no other injury issues moving forward for the rest of the team. The Lakers simply can’t have any more bad luck on that front.
Totally agree Darius, 2 months ago nobody in their right mind would had thought that Young being injured would be such a big blow to the team. He’s been a spark and part of the nucleus of what the Lakers have done so far. Unbelievable… I think we are on the beginning of a really really rough stretch of the season with our starting backcourt down for this critical part of the schedule. And with like 18 games in 30 days with no more than a day off between games with a depleted team it has the potential to get really ugly. I just hope we be able to squeeze some wins here and there during this stretch and have a healthy team when the schedule finally softens. Because these first 40 games are like walking thru a minefield. Go Lakers!!
SwaggyP has always had the talent to be in the league. I believe it was his off the court antics and activities that definitely had him distracted. The loss of his Popstar GF was a blessing to his livelihood. Don’t know where SwaggyP went but I’m glad the real Nick Young has been showing up this year.
This might be a good time to see if the team can look to its frontcourt a bit more for scoring. Mozzy and Randle in particular. Adding minutes to Clarkson’s night seems ok, but I would be cautious about increasing the workload on Lou and on Ingram. I think both can wear down a little, but there aren’t many alternatives. So glad Nick didn’t suffer damage to his Achilles. Although calf strains can linger. I’ve had one and it took about three weeks of rest before I could start running.
Hmm closer than expected game…
Randle has 19 rebounds!!!!!!!
I guess people here chalked this game a wash and didn’t watch. LAAAAKKKKEERSSS!!!!!!!!!! After being blown out by the Pelicans they go to Chicago and beat the Bulls after falling behind by double digits in the first half. Another upset!!! LUUUUUKKKEEEE!!!!! Randle 20 rebounds!!!!
It really is such a weird concept…that we miss Nick Young. Nice rebounding game by Randle.
Last time I’ll say it….This would have been a perfect time to play Anthony Brown. Meta serves no purpose.