Coming off of an exciting road win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers will close their road trip on Tuesday in Chicago, where they’ll hope to improve their record to 6-1 and extend their current win streak to six games. However, there’s a chance they may have to do it without their starting point guard.
After practice on Monday, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters that Avery Bradley sat out of practice as he continues to recover from a leg injury he suffered against the Spurs. Bradley has started at point guard for all six of the Lakers’ regular season games.
Here’s more on Bradley’s status, courtesy of Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
Frank Vogel said Avery Bradley didn’t participate in Lakers practice and will be listed as questionable for game at Chicago tomorrow with bruised lower right leg— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) November 4, 2019
Bradley has been a pleasant surprise for the Lakers to start the season. After struggling to make an impact with the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers, Bradley is posting a career-high defensive rating of 98.9 and a net rating of +6.1. He’s also shooting a career-high 51.9 percent on 8.7 field goal attempts per game.
The Lakers have the depth at point guard to manage without Bradley, even with Rajon Rondo sidelined, but his presence will be missed with the starters if he can’t go on Tuesday.
Speaking of Rondo, Vogel also gave an update on the 13-year veteran’s health:
Vogel said Rondo won't play at Chicago, sore calf: “He did 15 minutes of three-on-three. We’re trying to build him up. So, 3-on-3 today, some 4-on-4 tomorrow and then 5-on-5 and then hopefully he can get closer to return to play. But we don’t have a date for that yet.”— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) November 4, 2019
Frank Vogel said Rajon Rondo will ramp up to 4 on 4 tomorrow but won't play against Chicago. The Lakers are hopeful he could return during the homestand against Miami or Toronto.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 4, 2019
Rondo has yet to suit up for the Lakers in the regular season, but the team has gotten along just fine without him. In fact, with the exception of the regular season opener against the LA Clippers, it’s hard to think of times where the Lakers would have really benefitted from having someone with Rondo’s skillset and even then, Alex Caruso would have been a fine substitution in that instance.
There’s the argument that Rondo and Anthony Davis play really well together, and while that may be true, Davis won an NBA Player of the Week Award while was Rondo sidelined. In other words, Davis is okay with or without Rondo.
While adding Rondo to the mix will give the Lakers a dimension they don’t have because of his uniquely advanced playmaking ability, it will also give Vogel another guard who will want playing time upon his return. And from everything we know, Vogel will be happy to oblige.
Having depth is a good thing, but it’s unclear if the Lakers are deep in talent or just deep in bodies. I guess we’ll find out once both Bradley and Rondo are cleared to play.