The Los Angeles Lakers will look to win their 12th straight road game Wednesday night in Orlando against the young, athletic and insanely long Magic. It’ll be fun test, but one the Lakers should probably come out on top of, especially considering they’ll be healthier than they’ve been just about all season.
Avery Bradley is expected to return to action after missing 13 games with a fracture in his left leg. He will reportedly be on a minutes restriction of 15 minutes, but his return will be hugely welcomed, especially on the defensive end.
Rajon Rondo is also listed as questionable to play in Orlando, as he is nursing a hamstring injury. His calf strain kept him out for quite some time, so it’s impossible to say right now whether he’ll be good to go or when he might return, but he’s actually played quite well lately and the Lakers could use him on offense.
Now, having nearly everyone ready does come with a couple pitfalls. Head coach Frank Vogel will have to figure out how to work everyone in while the Lakers are playing arguably their best basketball of the season. He’s handled himself very well to this point, so there’s reason to be optimistic, but the math here does get pretty complicated pretty quickly.
All that said, this is a team the Lakers should probably beat. Orlando is young, and while they’re long and athletic enough to make anyone uncomfortable at the rim, they aren’t exactly thick, which should allow Davis and Dwight Howard to body them up.
Vogel will also be coaching against his former organization in Orlando, something Evan Fournier is apparently looking forward to but acknowledged isn’t exactly a new experience, as he told John Denton of NBA.com:
“We’ve had a lot of coaches here and we’ve played against them all a lot,’’ said Fournier, who has played for five head coaches in his six seasons with the Magic. “We’re going to play against Frank and I’m sure he’s going to want to kick our ass real bad. So, we’ve got to be ready.’’
My goodness that is some pretty incredible shade, shade that continued when he spoke to Jim Rome about how many Lakers fans will likely be in the building (among other things).
Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 4 p.m. PST, and it will be televised locally on Spectrum SportsNet.
Notes and Updates
- Kyle Kuzma will miss the game against the Magic with an ankle sprain he suffered against the Wizards.
This is the sprain that Kuzma suffered against the Wizards. The Lakers say the medical staff elected to give him the night off so it can fully heal.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) December 11, 2019
- Rondo will be a game-time decision, and Bradley will come off the bench on a minutes restriction.
Rajon Rondo a gametime decision, per Vogel. Avery Bradley will come off the bench with a 15-minute cap.— Bill Oram (@billoram) December 11, 2019
- With Bradley coming off the bench, it’ll be interesting to monitor the impact that has on the bench unit — a group that Anthony Davis thinks hasn’t gotten enough credit this year.
- Anthony Davis is making a compelling, nearly unimpeachable case for Defensive Player of the Year so far. Our own Darius Soriano laid it out.