The Lakers are set to host the Chicago Bulls tonight in the second of a back-to-back at Staples Center, but as they look to rebound from their loss to the San Antonio Spurs, they will do so without two key members of their rotation. The team announced that Anthony Davis (right adductor strain) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (left ankle sprain) — both of whom were listed as questionable on the injury report for this one — will ultimately sit out against the Bulls.
This will be the fourth game in a row Caldwell-Pope has missed, and the second game this season that Davis has been forced to sit out. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said that the teams is “hopeful” that this will be the last missed game for Caldwell-Pope, who continues to make progress with his ankle feeling better. Vogel wasn’t sure if Davis had re-aggravated his strain during the loss to the Spurs, but said he was just sore and that the team wanted to be cautious with him.
“I just know that it was sore today and when he tried to move around it got really tight, and we just want to be smart with those type of signs,” Vogel said.
In the wake of the absences, Vogel decided to bench Kyle Kuzma — who had previously been starting while Caldwell-Pope is out — and insert Markieff Morris and Wesley Matthews into the first five.
The Lakers have new starters tonight. Kuz is out, Morris and Matthews are in. pic.twitter.com/HjCUXb9D4U— Aggregation Nation's Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) January 9, 2021
At the very least, it will be interesting to watch this new lineup, and see if it’s something they want to go to more even when Davis and Caldwell-Pope are back. The Lakers and Bulls tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PT.