Rui Hachimura Lakers

Arnab Bose

NBA

Los Angeles Lakers Might Find It Hard To Beat Los Angeles Clippers Owing To Injury Concerns

The Los Angeles Lakers have a deep and balanced roster that should be able to help the team not worry about injury issues this season. Like last season was really terrible for them because of injuries to key players. But they managed to bring balance in the midseason. That really helped them go as far as they did. It was a real miracle that the LA Lakers managed to reach the conference finals. However, they did not have an ideal start to the new season.

They lost a couple of games and won a couple. But they already sustained a few injury concerns. For instance, Jarred Vanderbilt, a potential starter for the LA side, won’t be available for a while owing to a heel injury. Moreover, one of the Laker’s key players, Rui Hachimura, sustained a left eye contusion during the game against the Sacramento Kings. The injury to the left eye may keep the Japanese sensation out for a while.

   

The Lakers Will Miss Rui Hachimura & Jarred Vanderbilt Against The Clippers

Jarred Vanderbilt Lakers
Jarred Vanderbilt Lakers Source: Lake Show Life

Anyway, Vando won’t return in a couple of weeks. The doctors will evaluate the soreness of his heel and then come to a conclusion. Besides Anthony Davis, Jarred Vanderbilt has been the main strength of the Laker’s defense. Hence, at present, the Lakers might not be as strong as they wanted to be defensively. Moreover, the absence of Hachimura can hurt their bench strength too. Both Vando and Rui have been part of the Lakers since last season. And their availability is pretty important. On top of that, the new signing, Cam Reddish, is also not 100% healthy. Hence, Reddish is too uncertain to play against the LA Clippers in the next game.

But the Lakers can try out the first-round pick of the last NBA draft, Jalen Hood-Schifino. It is an ideal situation to use the big-bodied defensive skills of Jalen. But the Lakers will miss the skills of Rui Hachimura and Cam Reddish in their wing and defense against the Los Angeles rivals. However, the Lakers can use the skills of Christian Wood and Jaxson Hayes more against the skilled guards and defense of the LA Clippers. Darvin Ham will need a bit of creativity to handle the Clippers challenge without Rui, Cam, and Jarred alike.

Clippers Are Also Not Free Of Rotation Confusions

James Harden
James Harden Source: Sky Sports

The LA Clippers are also out of four forwards whom they surrendered to acquire James Harden and PJ Tucker. The four forwards the Clippers surrendered are Robert Covington, Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, and Kenyon Martin Jr. After giving up these forwards, the Clippers acquired Filip Petrusev along with Harden and Tucker. Filip is a little used rookie. Anyway, the Clippers might also face difficulty with the three traded rotation pieces as Morris was not playing.

Initially, last season, the Lakers lingered around the bottom of the Western Conference. But the midseason trading changed things for good. That’s how much they value depth and balance, and the Lakers have it in their current roster. It should be sufficient for the Lakers to go a little further this season than where they reached last season.