The Los Angeles Lakers have a share of the best record in the NBA, have won 11 straight road games and four straight games overall. They’ve done a lot of this without their starting point guard at the beginning of the season, Avery Bradley. As they get ready to once again hit the road, they might be getting him and Rajon Rondo back.
Rondo sat out the second half of the Lakers’ win in Portland over the Trail Blazers, and then all of their win at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bradley has missed 13 straight games. Both will make the trip out to Orlando, and could potentially return against the Magic, according to the team’s injury report:
Here is the team's full injury report: pic.twitter.com/Y47r0zzHF5— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) December 10, 2019
Update: According to Brad Turner of The L.A. Times, Bradley will play:
Avery Bradley worked out again today with Lakers in Orlando and will play against the Magic Wednesday, per source. He will be on about a 20 minutes restriction. Bradley had been out with a hairline fracture in his lower right leg.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 11, 2019
Whenever those two do ultimately suit up — whether it’s tomorrow or later in the road trip — Vogel will have quite the task ahead of him as he looks to find minutes for everyone if the full group of guards are available. There are only 48 minutes for him to play with at the point guard spot, and a chunk of minutes at shooting guard for bigger guys like Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
One thing Vogel had been doing when more guys were healthy was roll with three-guard lineups surrounding, say, Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis — something you can do at least in theory because of how much ground Davis can cover defensively. Those groups were kind of clunky, though, because guys like Quinn Cook or Troy Daniel weren’t hitting open threes at the clip they needed to in order to warrant going with those lineups.
One thing is for sure: Bradley was playing well enough before he got hurt that he should probably resume starting upon his return, depending on whether he’s on some kind of minutes restriction. Yes, Caldwell-Pope said that he’s more comfortable playing with the starters, but he has still been inconsistent, and thus should probably return to the second unit.
However Vogel handles this, it’s become clear that plenty of guys have stepped forward and earned consistent rotation minutes, and it’s good to be close to getting a couple important guards back soon, whether both do so tomorrow against the Magic, or later in the road trip.