After a hot start for the Lakers the injury bug had caught up to them and derailed their surprising start. First and most importantly to go was D’Angelo Russell.
Russell, who hasn’t played since Nov. 20th, will be on a minutes restriction tonight, but he will start. He looked good in practice.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 12, 2016
The Lakers with D’Angelo Russell in the lineup were 7-5, since he has been out they have gone 3-9. Finally, the guard out of Ohio State and hopeful future superstar returns to the lineup after being out since getting a Platlet-rich plasma (PRP) injection for his sore left knee. Seeing him on the sideline being vocal and talking with his teammates these last few home games has been encouraging, you could tell he wanted to be out there with his team.
Before D’Angelo Russell went down he was averaging 16.1 points with 3.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game on just 26.8 minutes per game. The Per 36 numbers (prediction if he was playing a full 36 mins per game) are even more impressive at 21.6/4.6/6.5. All this while on a bad knee show why he was so important for this team. Not to mention the numbers are pretty glaring to say the least.
With Russell in the lineup
Without Russell in the lineup
As you can see it isn’t just his scoring that is missed. it’s almost his entire presence that everything just flows better. It’s almost as if he is one of the most important player for the Lakers…period.
Nick Young returning
More great news Sunday prior to the Knicks game. It was announced that Nick Young will be ready to go tonight as well.
Luke said Nick Young is a game-time decision. If he plays, he will be on a minute restriction
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 12, 2016
Suffering a strained calf on November 29th against the New Orleans Pelicans he was expected to be out 2-4 weeks. It seems he had other plans. Walton stated that both Young and Russell will be on minutes’ restrictions. However, getting them back on the court could be an overall boost to the team’s morale which can be just as important as effectiveness on the court.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for all your Lakers news.