Avery Bradley is slowly starting to return to form for the Los Angeles Lakers, as he’s averaged 9.4 points per game on 54.1% shooting from the field, including 41.7% from behind the arc, over the last five games while posting the second-best net rating (+26.1) during that time. Unfortunately, he may have another setback.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Bradley left Thursday’s practice early with a fever. The Lakers are listing him as questionable to play against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. James was also a limited participant in practice due to flu-like symptoms, but he has been listed as probable.
With Bradley and Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion) both listed as questionable for Friday’s game, there’s a possibility that the Lakers will be without two of their most valuable defenders when take on the Mavericks, who are ranked first in offensive rating thanks in no small part to second-year superstar Luka Doncic.
Vogel has already said that Kyle Kuzma will start in Davis’ place if Davis can’t play, which is a no-brainer considering Kuzma is the team’s primary backup 4. At the point guard position, though, the Lakers have a few routes they can go between Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Caldwell-Pope started in place of Bradley when he missed time with a hairline fracture in his left leg and stayed in the starting lineup for a few games after, but with Kuzma in the starting lineup, Vogel may value Caldwell-Pope’s shooting with the second unit. The same case can be made for Rondo and his playmaking with the second unit.
Hopefully that’s not a decision Vogel has to make, and both Bradley and James wake up feeling better tomorrow. Tip-off is at 5:30 PST.