Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell will miss Friday’s key matchup against the Thunder due to a right hip injury.
“It’s not too serious, but serious enough where we need to manage him,” Ham said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). Ham added that Russell is considered day-to-day.
The Thunder, meanwhile, will have their best player available, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is active after previously being listed as questionable with a nagging abdominal strain (Twitter links via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman).
The Mavericks, Lakers, Thunder and Pelicans are all currently tied at 36-37 in the Nos. 8-11 spots in the West. The Wolves (No. 7) sit at 37-37, while the Jazz (No. 12) are 35-37.
Here’s more from Los Angeles:
- In a lengthy interview with McMenamin, Lakers star Anthony Davis expressed a lot of confidence in the team’s roster and it sounds like he would like to see the group stick together beyond this season. “If we actually have a full summer, full training camp, go through an entire season, who knows the position we’ll be in,” Davis said. ” … The team we have now, we feel like not only can we make noise this year, and I like our chance against anybody to be honest. You put anybody against us, I like our chances. … Who knows what we could be, what threat we could be next year and then years to come if they work it out and are able to keep this group together.” As McMenamin notes, beyond Davis, LeBron James and Max Christie, no other player has a fully guaranteed contract for 2023/24, so the Lakers will have a lot of decisions to make.
- The Clippers were glad that Paul George avoided a major injury when he sprained his knee. He’s expected to be reeavaluated in two-to-three weeks, but if the Clippers clinch a top-six seed and a berth in the playoffs, George potentially returning in a first-round series is considered “optimistic,” according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
- Obviously, it’s very difficult to replace a player of George’s caliber, so multiple players will have to step up to make up for his lost production on both ends of the court. Law Murray of The Athletic believes Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Terance Mann and Norman Powell are the top candidates to shoulder more responsibilities with George sidelined.