After getting pulled from practice because of a minor hamstring injury on Monday, Josh Hart was held out again Tuesday and is officially listed as questionable to play on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors.
Hart was ready to practice on Tuesday, but head coach Luke Walton didn’t want to risk him getting hurt because he sees Hart as one of the team’s most valuable players.
“He’s good,” Walton said. “He wanted to practice today but (his hamstring) was tight still, so I told him to sit out and watch, make sure that he stays healthy because he’s very important to what we do so we want to start the season as healthy as we can be, so it’s more just being safe.”
Walton also made it sound like Hart is unlikely to play Wednesday, although he allowed there is a chance.
“He’s questionable right now, so we’ll reevaluate him when we get there,” Walton said.
Hart has appeared in all four of the Lakers’ preseason games and even started two games for Walton. In those two games, the 23-year-old averaged 15.5 points, 4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
He’s struggled to get his shots to fall with the same efficiency he showed at the end of last season and for most of summer league, but he’s found other ways to impact the game, which Walton said is what makes him so important to the Lakers.
“He was very important to our team last year and he’s continued to get better since we’ve had him,” Walton said. “What he does so well are the little things, the little things that help teams win that a lot of time don’t go down on the stat sheet.
“Those are the things in my opinion that make Josh special.”
With just two games left in the preseason, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lakers held Hart out until the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, Oct. 17. However, with how competitive the battle for the starting shooting guard spot has been so far, it’s safe to say fans would like to see Hart finish the preseason off strong.
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