UPDATE, 10/19 1:29 p.m. PT: Ryan Kelly will be out for the Lakers' game against the Jazz Sunday night, reports Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell. Kelly's right hamstring is sore, though his left hamstring was what kept him out the previous two weeks.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling with injuries through preseason, but second-year power forward Ryan Kelly could make his preseason debut against the Utah Jazz Sunday night, according to Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell. Kelly has been dealing with a pulled hamstring through training camp.
The Lakers' three-point shooting, rather lack of three-point attempts, has been a problem for their offense. Kelly should help by spacing the floor beyond the arc and opening up the paint. He shot 33 percent from deep last season, but proved capable of putting the ball on the floor for pull-up jumpers if his defender was forced to close out on him.
Integrating Kelly also represents an interesting challenge for head coach Byron Scott. The Lakers' have a logjam at power forward with Carlos Boozer and Julius Randle splitting minutes, and Kelly is naturally a power forward. He played minimally at center last season, and the Lakers have been rotating Jordan Hill, Ed Davis and Robert Sacre at the five.
Los Angeles' offense was much more effective with Kelly on the floor last season, averaging 5.5 points more per 100 possessions when he was in the game, according to 82games.com. The Lakers' defense took a slight dip, but he still represented a net gain of 4 points per 100 possessions while playing.
Any additional depth to the Lakers as they fight off injuries through exhibition is a welcomed sight. Even if he doesn't make his return Sunday night, it sounds like he'll be playing sooner than later.