D’Angelo Russell’s status is one of the key talking points ahead of Friday’s game between the LA Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers starting point guard missed the contest against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday as a last-minute scratch. Russell wasn’t on the injury report until a few hours before the game began.
He was questionable initially but downgraded to out shortly before tip-off. Russell’s averaging 17.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists on 47/42/80 splits in 48 games. After a rough start to the season, the former NBA All-Star revived himself and is LA’s third-best player, behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
He was sorely missed in the Lakers’ fighting 114-106 loss to the Nuggets. Their winless streak without Russell stretched to four games his year. The team’s coaching staff and fans will hope that he’s good to go against the streaking New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.
D’Angelo Russell injury update: Will Lakers star suit up tonight?
D’Angelo Russell will be available to play on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Russell was listed as probable, but Darvin Ham confirmed the former All-Star will suit up after missing the last game.
What happened to D’Angelo Russell?
Russell is dealing with a left knee soreness injury. The former lottery pick seems to have sustained the injury on LA’s road trip, which concluded in Charlotte on Monday. Russell didn’t practice on Thursday morning. Ham revealed thta he was getting a routine procedure done on his knee.
Russell was on the floor later but was listed as questionable 30 minutes before tip-off. Some last-minute discomfort could have prevented him from suiting up. He was on the sideline during the game.
D’Angelo Russell’s injury absence prompts Lakers to turn to Skylar Mays
The Lakers are severely short on their backcourt depth. They have three legitimate point guards; D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent and Skylar Mays. Russell has been the lead guard, while Vincent is his primary backup option.
However, the former Miami Heat guard has played only five games this season. He’s still out for multiple weeks after undergoing surgery to recover from his knee injury.
Meanwhile, Mays is on a two-way deal. He joined the team in January. Mays hasn’t seen much playing time, though. He has played six games for the Lakers, averaging 6.2 minutes.
After Max Christie went down with an injury on Thursday against the Nuggets, Ham used Mays in the rotation. He only played seven minutes, but they were vital, giving the Lakers some breathing room as primary ball-handlers LeBron James and Austin Reaves took a breather midway through the second half.
Mays will likely see more minutes of Russell missing time. He has proven to be an excellent defensive presence, who can shoot the ball well from 3.