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Rajon Rondo to sit against Hornets, Kyle Kuzma continues to progress in rehab

Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma are still not quite ready to play as the Lakers prepare to host the Hornets.

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Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will still be without two of their injured contributors when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night, as head coach Frank Vogel told reporters at shootaround that Rajon Rondo is still recovering from his calf injury, while Kyle Kuzma is continuing to get better, but still not back to fully-participating in practice yet:

Kuzma had already been ruled out for Sunday, so this is mostly good news for the team that he’s still taking steps back towards the court after the most recent positive update on Friday. When he comes back he’ll give the Lakers’ some secondary scoring punch they could really use, but until then, expect Jared Dudley to continue to get the bulk of the minutes as the backup four.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear how much Rondo’s absence is even hampering the Lakers. He, Vogel and LeBron James have all been outspoken about their feeling that Rondo can help, but the team did seem to find some Rondo-less solutions to their ballhandling woes on Friday, including having Davis initiate the offense a little higher and playing Alex Caruso as part of a small lineup that had success. Those are solutions that, it should be noted, come without Rondo’s unreliable-at-best defense and habit of cramping the floor spacing for the offense.

We’ll see how the team does moving forward, but with Rondo out of the lineup, look for Caruso, Quinn Cook and the recently resurgent Troy Daniels to continue to attempt to make arguments with their play for why they should be getting the majority of the rotation minutes moving forward, and to see if the Lakers can establish something good in Rondo’s absence.

If there is even a shadow of a doubt that those guys are the best options when Rondo is cleared, though, expect him to play a significant role when he does return.

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