The Los Angeles Lakers are back home in Southern California after a costly three-game road trip, hosting the Indiana Pacers for a Friday night fight. How much fight the Lakers have, however, remains to be seen.
Head Coach Luke Walton came away from their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder once again questioning their toughness as a team, and it’s set to be another challenge for a bruised-up Lakers squad. Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have both been ruled out, Brandon Ingram is a game-time decision, and Julius Randle is playing through a ring-finger fracture on his non-shooting hand. Kyle Kuzma was listed as questionable, but will suit up against Indiana.
That’s the kind of injury nightmare Lakers fans have come to know over the past several season, and it seems there’s no escaping it at this point. The bright side is there’s yet to be something serious setting any of the players back, but the young Lakers are having a tough time playing every-other night through January.
No Caldwell-Pope and Ball means it’s go-time for Victor Oladipo. He’s averaging an astounding 24.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.9 steals per game, while shooting 40.6 percent from deep on 6.4 attempts. Anyone who projected that kind of immediate outcome from the Paul George fallout, pay yourself on the back.
If you’re spending your Friday night watching the Lonzo-less Lakers play, I certainly hope you find a way to enjoy the game. That’s commitment.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, FSIN