Since the injury to Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been performing well in the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers.
With an 11-2 record for the Los Angeles Lakers in their first 13 games, one would think that it has been smooth sailing for the team. However, they have actually dealt with quite a few injuries so far this season. Fortunately for the Lakers, their depth has proven to be solid this season.
The most recent injury that the Lakers will have to overcome is to Avery Bradley. After suffering a hairline fracture in his leg, Bradley will be out for at least the next couple of weeks. Bradley has been a starter for the Lakers since signing this offseason, and has been a key part of them being one of the best defenses in the league.
Bradley has the ability to hound opposing guards, which certainly helps the team play strong defensively on the perimeter. In the two games that Bradley has missed since being diagnosed with the injury, it has been Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drawing the starts.
In the narrow win against the Sacramento Kings, Caldwell-Pope totaled 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. KCP hit a lot of shots late for the Lakers to help secure them a hard-fought win against the Kings.
KCP followed up the strong performance against the Kings with another against the Atlanta Hawks. In an easier win over the Hawks, Caldwell-Pope totaled 13 points, while shooting 75 percent from the field.
Even though KCP might not be the same defensive player that Bradley is, he does bring another scoring weapon into the starting lineup for the Lakers. With the ability to stretch the floor as well, KCP is a good fit alongside LeBron James.
While the past two games is a small sample size, it is encouraging to see what KCP has been doing as a starter. For the most part in his Lakers career, KCP has been a disappointment. Perhaps this could be the beginning of him getting into a groove in Los Angeles.