The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealing with a handful of injuries to start this season. Jarred Vanderbilt and rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino have yet to appear in a game. The team has also been without Gabe Vincent, Rui Hachimura and Taurean Prince the last couple of games.
These issues have completely stripped the Lakers of their depth, forcing head coach Darvin Ham to go to an eight-man rotation. Results have varied, but the Lakers are optimistic that at least a couple of those injured players will be back on the court soon.
Ham spoke on the Lakers’ injuries prior to their game against the Orlando Magic, saying that Prince and Hachimura should be back soon, while Vanderbilt and Hood-Schifino still have a ways to go to, via Dan Woike of the L.A. Times:
Darvin Ham says Rui Hachimura and Taurean Prince are “probably sooner than later.” Says Vanderbilt is probably “later than sooner.” Jalen Hood-Schifino is also a few weeks out
— Dan Woike (Click the pic ⬇️ to read) (@DanWoikeSports) November 4, 2023
The Lakers badly need these crucial role players back in uniform. Prince has slid into the starting lineup seamlessly and has been one of the Lakers’ best shooters in addition to his solid defense. Hachimura hasn’t had the best start to this season, but he is still a versatile, big body who provides a big offensive boost off the bench.
As Ham continues to try and limit the workload on LeBron James, players like Prince and Hachimura are vital to that. The same can be said for Vanderbilt who is the Lakers’ best perimeter defender. The team misses his energy and toughness, not to mention his ability to guard multiple positions at a high level.
For the time being, the Lakers simply have to stick with who they have available, but there is no doubt the team is looking forward to these players getting back in the fold.
Lakers’ Gabe Vincent to be re-evaluated in two weeks
Unfortunately, the Lakers will definitely be without point guard Gabe Vincent for a little while. Vincent is suffering from a left knee effusion and the Lakers announced that he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
With him out, that puts more pressure on D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves to be primary creators, along with LeBron James, of course. But the team also misses his defensive ability at the point of attack against some of the league’s best point guards.
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