The Lakers have been waiting for Avery Bradley to return from the hairline fracture he suffered in his right leg since mid-November. On Saturday, the team issued the latest update on his progress, ruling him out for Sunday, but declaring him “day-to-day” moving forward.
According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Bradley could be “probable” for the team’s game on Wednesday if his rehab continues to go well.
Avery Bradley, who had a hairline fracture in his leg, was re-evaluated today and cleared for full contact. He's still out for tomorrow's game, but if all goes well over the next few days could be probable for Wednesday's game in Orlando.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 8, 2019
As of Friday, Bradley had told Dave McMenamin of ESPN that he planned to return to the lineup by the time the Lakers play the Miami Heat on Dec. 13 if he was cleared upon re-evaluation.
The Lakers have missed having Bradley in the lineup. A standout for the team on defense since training camp, Bradley had helped the Lakers earn the best defensive rating in the NBA when he last played on Nov. 13, with the team allowing just 99.5 points per 100 possessions before he suffered his injury. They cratered at first in Bradley’s absence, but have since rebounded a bit and have only fallen to third in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing 102.8 points per 100 possessions, and rank seventh in that category over just the time Bradley has been out, according to NBA.com.
A top-ten defense is still good no matter how you slice it, but it seems clear that having one extra, aggressive perimeter defensive option really helps this team be at their best on that end — not to mention allows everyone else to go back to their natural roles on defense. Luckily for the Lakers, it appears they’ll be getting Bradley back relatively soon, whether he returns by Wednesday, Friday, or some other date on their next road trip.
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