There is a month left in the 2022-23 NBA season and it is an extremely important month for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has already started its climb up the Western Conference standings and is looking to move into a playoff position to avoid the NBA Play-In Tournament altogether.
Every piece of Lakers news at this juncture of the season is critical. Fans have to be on their A-game not only supporting the team when they go see them in person but in keeping up on what it going on. This is not meaningless January basketball. This is important.
With all of that being said, here is your Lakers news roundup for this beautiful Friday.
Lakers news roundup:
- Mo Bamba is going to miss at least a month with an ankle sprain he suffered against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Bamba is going to be re-evaluated in four weeks, essentially ending his regular season before it could ever get off the ground in Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the Lakers’ offseason decisions, as Bamba as a non-guaranteed year left on his deal.
- J.R. Smith shared what it is like being a LeBron James teammate, calling it a gift and a curse. Smith said that he thrives under pressure (Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals would say otherwise) but that some players simply aren’t made out to play under that kind of pressure with LeBron.
- After missing six games with an ankle injury, all signs are pointing to D’Angelo Russell making his return to the starting lineup on Friday against the Toronto Raptors. Los Angeles went 4-2 without Russell, 5-2 if you count the game he got injured in.
NBA news roundup:
- Kevin Durant suffered an ankle injury while warming up for the Phoenix Suns. Durant is expected to miss at least three weeks with the injury, which puts his regular season in jeopardy for the Suns. He only played three games for Phoenix after being traded.
- Luka Doncic had a scare with a thigh injury that ended up coming out clean in an MRI. Doncic will be able to return to action once his discomfort subsides.
- Raptors guard Fred VanVleet was fined $30,000 for a viral rant about poor officiating after Toronto’s loss to the Clippers. VanVleet outright said that referee Ben Taylor was “terrible”.
Hopefully, VanVleet takes some of that negative injury into Friday’s game and it impacts his play so the Lakers can get the much-needed W.