Avery Bradley will play Wednesday against the magic after being out for almost a month with a hairline fracture. He will be on a minutes restriction of about 20 minutes.
The Lakers have not necessarily missed Bradley in terms of lack of wins, but he has been missed on the defensive end. When Bradley plays, he is an absolute pest on the defensive end. He is someone who can reasonably guard the other teams best wing and would help the Lakers tremendously.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts the Lakers lineup. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been starting in place of Bradley, and has for the most part played well. Considering Bradley is coming off of an injury and will be on a minutes limit, I wonder if Vogel will ease him in and bring him off the bench. With KCP playing with a newfound confidence, it will be interesting to see if Vogel decides to leave KCP as a starter just to make sure he maintains that confidence.
Bradley’s return also bring into question how this will impact Alex Caruso’s minutes. Caruso has been one of the better two-way players on the Lakers. Now that Bradley is back, I wonder how the minutes will be divided up between Bradley, KCP, and Caruso.
Vogel has been great this year in terms of rotations and overall lineup decisions, so I have confidence that he will make the right decision. The Lakers are about to start a pretty tough five game road trip, so they will need to figure out the rotations quickly in order to come out with a winning record.