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On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a devastating setback when D'Angelo Russell left their 124-111 victory against Golden State Warriors with an injury to his right ankle. He did not return to action in the game.
The Lakers are in need of a timely boost after failing to put together an impressive 23-game streak to secure their playoff spot. But Darvin Ham has assured fans that Russell will be reevaluated on Friday.
On Thursday night, the Lakers easily defeated the Warriors - but not without facing some major setbacks along the way. One major setback was an injury to D'Angelo Russell that delayed their progress considerably.
On Thursday's first quarter, the rookie guard rolled his ankle after stepping on an opposing player's foot. He struggled on the floor before being helped off of the court; fortunately, X-rays came back negative but it was a frightening sight to witness.
Russell is still young, but his injury has many worried about his future with the Lakers. At the trade deadline, they acquired Russell along with Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley in an effort to give the point guard a chance to make an impact. Unfortunately, Russell will need surgery soon enough.
However, the Lakers have yet to maximize their new star's potential, as he has struggled with his shooting percentages. Through seven games this season he is averaging 11.6 points and 3.4 assists per game; however, he has made some strides recently.
However, it's too soon to tell if Russell will be the answer the Lakers were searching for when they traded for him. His shooting hasn't been impressive and his scoring and assists have been more than offset by turnovers. Additionally, Russell struggles as a leader.
He's still a talented player with the potential to be an important piece of the Lakers' championship trio. Fortunately, they have other capable players who can fill in for Russell when he isn't available.
Dennis Schroder and Malik Beasley should be able to carry the Lakers even without Russell in the lineup. Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV could see increased minutes if Russell is forced out for any extended absences.
Two days off are left before the Lakers travel to Dallas for their next game, and it remains uncertain if Russell will be ready. If he is, however, it appears likely that they will start him at center court.
Los Angeles Lakers are a young team, but they possess plenty of talent and an excellent chance at making the playoffs. Hopefully D'Angelo Russell can help them reach that goal.
Few weeks ago, the Lakers made a major acquisition by trading for D'Angelo Russell. This move provided them with much-needed upgrades at guard position and has significantly increased their chances of contending for a playoff spot. With this roster change, they now have more depth than before.
Unfortunately, they've also been hit with some injuries. D'Angelo Russell left Thursday's game against the Golden State Warriors with a sprained ankle, which will keep them without their veteran point guard for at least several games.
On Friday, the team will reevaluate Russell and determine if or not he can play in Sunday's game against the Dallas Mavericks.
He is expected to return to the lineup, but this comes at a cost for the Lakers. They are one game away from securing a play-in spot and need all of their help in order to finish strong.
Russell will need to perform at his best over the course of 23 games, and since he hasn't played in three of those contests, its absence could prove decisive in how these matches turn out.
The Lakers remain a long way from securing their place in the NBA playoffs, but they've been improving each week. Their win against the Warriors during their first game back from All-Star break could provide some much needed confidence boost going forward.
As for their remaining schedule, they face some challenging games ahead. On Sunday, they'll face off against the Mavericks in Dallas; Tuesday they host Memphis Grizzlies; and Wednesday they host Thunder in Oklahoma City.
But that won't stop them from putting together an impressive 23-game stretch to finish out the regular season. They are currently fighting for sixth place in the Western Conference and need every win they can get to guarantee they make it into the postseason.
Though this news is concerning, D'Angelo Russell expressed that he isn't worried about an extended absence. Furthermore, the injury isn't that serious and does not rule out playing in Sunday's game against the Mavericks.
On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a devastating blow when D'Angelo Russell left the game with an injured right ankle after accidentally stepping on Donte DiVincenzo's foot during the first quarter of their 109-103 win against Golden State Warriors. X-rays on Russell's ankle came back negative but he will undergo further evaluation on Friday and may miss some games going forward.
With LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis both out of the lineup, the Lakers relied heavily on Russell to take the court for them. Russell finished with 15 points, six rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes to lead them to their second straight victory.
Though he's missed numerous games this season due to injuries, Russell has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his tenure with the Nets and Warriors. A versatile player who can play either point guard or shooting guard, Russell has been an impressive addition to the Lakers' lineup.
Russell is an outstanding rebounder, which is crucial for the team. Receiving more playing time from Russell and other key players like Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle will enable them to remain a tough matchup for opponents.
Though Russell's absence is a huge blow, it won't derail the Nets from their season goal of reaching the playoffs. They still have exceptional players like Spencer Dinwiddie to step in for him.
No matter if Russell returns or not, the Nets must take great care with his health. They need to give him enough time for recovery so he doesn't miss any more games and further injure himself.
On Friday, Russell expressed that he wasn't worried about being out for an extended period of time. Additionally, he isn't scared of the challenge that comes with coming back from an injury, meaning he won't have any trouble adapting to playing time and finding ways to become even more effective.
Russell must remain healthy as he strives to become an elite NBA player. He can't wait to get back on the court and begin working with his teammates again, but understands how difficult it can be to get back into the groove after such a long absence. That is why he will do everything possible to avoid another injury while still in his prime years.
Los Angeles Lakers have been on a roll since the trade of Russell Westbrook to Orlando, but could potentially miss out on a playoff spot due to D'Angelo Russell's ankle injury. The point guard rolled his ankle on Thursday night and it is believed that it will take some time for him to fully recover.
The Lakers must remain strong in their final 23 games to make a postseason push and without Russell there could be major concerns. He was the second overall pick in 2015 NBA draft and is one of the key reasons why there's still some optimism in Los Angeles this season.
But if Russell isn't back in the starting lineup by March, it could prove detrimental for them. This would especially be true if they have to face off twice against Minnesota Timberwolves before then; these teams will meet twice on March 3 and 31 in Minneapolis.
Thankfully, the injury is not serious and Russell should be fine for the remainder of the season. He made a strong start Wednesday against Denver Nuggets and should be available to play Sunday against Washington Wizards.
Today, he was able to practice fully and is optimistic that he will be back in the lineup soon. But he said that he isn't worried about how long his absence will last.
It will be a difficult road trip for the Lakers, so it is essential that Russell gets back on track before they embark on it. He should be able to return late this road trip (Charlotte, Chicago) or early during their next homestand.
Russell will then be in the running for an All-Star spot and may get to play more minutes off the bench. If Russell cannot break into the starting lineup, Dennis Schroder will have more chances to shine, while Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV could both benefit from some extra minutes on the court.