Lonzo Ball suffered an ankle sprain when the Los Angeles Lakers visited the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. While Ball has already committed to playing on Thursday, the training staff has listed him as questionable, meaning there’s a possibility he won’t play.
The Lakers got a little taste of life without Ball in the second half of their blowout loss to Denver, and it wasn’t pretty. The result was even uglier because the team is already missing its only other point guard, Rajon Rondo, who isn’t expected to medically cleared until mid-December.
Following the game, Walton told reporters that losing Ball would be unfortunate, but he has confidence that other players on the team can step up if the point guard is out (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“It hurts. We have other guys that we trust. Brandon, LeBron, that can play that for us, but they do other things for us too so it’s not ideal.”
Josh Hart also mentioned Brandon Ingram and LeBron James when talking about guys that can fill the playmaker role with both Ball and Rondo out.
“It’s definitely different. Those are our two point guards, so it’ll be challenging at times. But we’ve got ‘Bron, we’ve got B.I., who are very talented at getting guys involved in playmaking, so like I said, it’s next man up.”
James is a more than capable playmaker than Ingram, but he said that not having a true point guard on the floor will make life harder on the Lakers:
“The way that we play, with the pace that we play at, it’s tough to (lose) any one of our point guards. Letting alone having both out ... Zo was playing some good ball going into that moment, so it just hurts our team.”
Kyle Kuzma shared a similar sentiment, saying the tone of the game against the Nuggets changed when Ball got injured:
“Zo going out definitely hurt in the first half. Him picking up full court and pushing pace really helped us.”
The Lakers have struggled carrying on without a true point guard in the second unit, and there’s no reason to believe the first unit will be any better off without one. With their playoff position in jeopardy over the next few games, let’s hope Ball misses little-to-no time.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.