The marquee matchup between the Lakers and Clippers will look vastly different than we thought it would even 48 hours ago. The Clippers finally made the blockbuster trade for James Harden but still do not have those players available and Los Angeles has key injuries to rotation players.
Rui Hachimura is dealing with a left eye contusion and will miss his second game in a row. Gabe Vincent is now listed as doubtful on the team’s injury report, suffering from left knee soreness. Due to these injuries, Colin Castleton, Alex Fudge and D’Moi Hodge are available to play.
Rui Hachimura (left eye contusion) has been downgraded to out for tonight’s game vs. LA Clippers.— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) November 1, 2023
Colin Castleton, Alex Fudge and D’Moi Hodge (G League Two-Way) are available. https://t.co/f30gSczoLn
Vincent’s been a steady contributor for head coach Darvin Ham clocking in 28.4 minutes per game during the first four games of the season. He did miss a couple of preseason games due to back soreness, but there has never been a mention of knee discomfort until now.
Vincent hasn’t been the sharpshooter fans have been yearning for, but his defensive ability has kept him on the court and helped the Lakers earn a comeback win versus the Suns and earn their second win against the Magic on Monday.
How Hachimura injured himself is still a mystery, with Ham saying before the Magic game, “I don’t recall exactly when it happened. I remember him grabbing it.” But clearly, he isn’t quite ready to go. While Hachimura hasn’t been as impactful in the early parts of the season, he is still a key rotation piece Ham thinks can work well as the first player off the bench.
Losing depth and playing a top team is a bad combination, but every challenge creates opportunity. Perhaps this is the game where Max Christie gets some significant run, or maybe Cam Reddish can step up and produce if Vincent is out.
Beating the Clippers is something the Lakers haven’t done during the Ty Lou era. They’ve lost 11 straight since 2020 and these injuries don’t make this matchup any easier for the purple and gold. Ham will now be forced to tighten his rotations and guards will have to step up and carry a bigger load if the Lakers want to end this losing streak versus their neighbors down the hall.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.