The Los Angeles Lakers will be without Kendrick Nunn for the next few weeks as he recovers from a bone bruise in his knee.
The injury was discovered after Nunn reported soreness in his knee leading up to the Lakers opener against the Warriors. The bone bruise will keep him out 2-3 weeks and he will then be re-evaluated.
The injuries are already piling up for the Lakers, with Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington and Trevor Ariza out as well. It’s not ideal but Lakers skipper Frank Vogel thinks the team has enough depth to get through it.
“The great thing is we have depth,” Vogel told reporters on Thursday. “If everybody’s healthy we’re gonna have to make some difficult decisions as far as which guys to go to and it’s just brought clarity to those decisions. It’s not a situation where we don’t believe in the guys we have, we have the right depth to still get the job done.
“We don’t feel like that’s gonna limit us. But obviously there’s a lot of versatility with the skill sets of Wayne and Talen and Trevor and Nunn, all these guys that it will take all 82 games to get the advantage of, but right now we’ll use the guys in uniform to get the job done.”
Avery Bradley Steps Into Early Action for Lakers
The Lakers signed Avery Bradley just before the start of the regular season and the veteran guard played an unexpected role in the opener. He provided a spark off the bench, scoring six points in eight minutes and playing some strong defense on Stephen Curry.
“I just wanted to go in there and just play hard, and that was my focus,” Bradley said. “LeBron found me on a few shots and I knocked them in but again, I’m just happy to be here and hopeful that if I get an opportunity to be out there on the floor I can just play hard and take whatever opportunities are given to me.”
Considering Bradley was just signed, it was a larger part than many expected him to play in the opener. But foul trouble and a shorter guard rotation forced him into action. Fortunately, Bradley had some familiarity with the Lakers system and coaching.
“He’s just a guy obviously that we respect and was a part of our program two years ago,” Vogel said prior to the game. “He’s someone that when he was waived, we thought he could help us.”
Lakers Not Worried About Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook was expected to be the third star in the Lakers big three but was anything but that in the opener. He was minus-23 in 35 minutes played, finishing with eight points on 4-for-13 shooting.
“I told Russ to go home and watch a comedy,” LeBron James said after the game. “Do something that can put a smile on his face. He’s so hard on himself. I told him, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s one game.'”
Westbrook and the Lakers will have another chance to pick up their first win of the season against the Suns on Friday in a rematch of their first-round playoff series.