The Los Angeles Lakers have had issues with injury all season, with those injuries mounting up to their worst state on Wednesday against the Miami Heat as Rajon Rondo and Austin Reaves joined previously held out players in LeBron James, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and Trevor Ariza. Rondo and Reaves were held out with strained left hamstrings, however, it sounds like Reaves’ injury is a little more serious as the team announced Thursday that he would be out at least two weeks.
The Lakers say that Austin Reaves (strained left hamstring) will be reevaluated by the Lakers’ team physicians in two weeks.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) November 11, 2021
The Lakers are now likely to have five players out at the very least for their upcoming Friday game against the Timberwolves, assuming THT doesn’t make a surprise season debut. It seems as though that the team has fully embraced the fact that they have to start winning games with the current available players, as they’ve rattled off two wins now since their embarrassing loss to the Trail Blazers this past weekend.
Getting back to Austin Reaves, it’s a very unfortunate injury to an undrafted rookie who was making much more of an impact than I think anyone suspected. He was especially helpful to raising the floor of Frank Vogel’s defense, a defense that has had its troubles in the early going as Vogel’s intense and talented perimeter defenders of the past had been shipped out, mostly for the trade that helped the team acquire Russell Westbrook.
The silver lining in this is that (if he can return in two weeks when he is re-evaluated), Reaves may be returning a little after LeBron and THT make their returns to the court. The Lakers should become a much better basketball team once they all return, and hopefully at that time we receive some good news regarding the debuts of Nunn and Ariza.
Until then, the Lakers are definitely going to miss Reaves, especially on defense. It’s a wild thing to be saying about an undrafted rookie on a team with Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis, but a multitude of injuries causes you say some wild things sometimes.