The Los Angeles Lakers announced that point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to miss a “minimum of two weeks” after receiving a PRP injection in his left knee this afternoon. Russell (16.1 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.4 RPG in 2016-17) had missed two of the Lakers’ past three games and appeared to have limited mobility in the 23 minutes he played against the Chicago Bulls last Sunday.
The recovery time for Platelet Rich Plasma injections varies depending upon the severity of the injury and the individual, but Russell is expected to be re-evaluated in one week. Veteran point guard Jose Calderon filled in for Russell in their last game (12 points, six rebounds, four assists in a win over the visiting OKC Thunder), but the team does have several additional options in the event that Russell’s recovery period goes a bit longer than initially anticipated.
Beyond also having seldom-used veteran Marcelo Huertas, Jordan Clarkson (14.9 PPG, 2.3 APG, 2.7 RPG) also has experience running the point. Clarkson may have embraced a role more focused on providing scoring through the first 15 games, but he could be asked to focus on playmaking and generating offense for other players a bit more throughout this stretch.
Coach Luke Walton has continued to encourage rookie Brandon Ingram to initiate the offense and take advantage of his ability to create thus far, so it also leaves the additional option of moving the 6’9 small forward into the starting rotation in order to further balance things if they so choose. In addition to potentially allowing Ingram to have even more of an impact on the way the team starts offensively, he might also be able to help slow some of the opposing perimeter scorers down before they get into a rhythm.
Russell’s loss will be tough as the offense has appeared a bit more stagnant and over-reliant upon iso-sets over stretches of the past few games, but this team has already proven to be pretty resilient over just the first few weeks of the season and does have one of the deeper rotations.
Chris Paul Leaves Rockets Win with Hamstring Injury
Rockets star guard Chris Paul exited Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Thursday in the last minute after hurting his right hamstring.
Paul reached for the hamstring after missing a runner in the lane with 51.7 seconds left. He limped noticeably during the next two possessions and checked out of the game after briefly consulting with Rockets athletic trainer Keith Jones during a timeout with 22.4 seconds left. Paul received extensive treatment postgame and told Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated that he “will be all right.” Asked about Game 6 on Saturday, he said, “Oh yeah.” The team planned to provide an update on Paul’s status Friday.
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN
Report: Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson Questionable for Game 5
Andre Iguodala’s bruised lower left leg improved Wednesday, but he was still listed as questionable by the Golden State Warriors for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Iguodala missed Tuesday night’s game after banging his left leg in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson is also listed as questionable after straining his left knee Tuesday night. But Kerr said that Thompson was “moving around really well” on Wednesday and that he thought he’d be fine.
Report: Clippers, Doc Rivers Agree to Contract Extension
The L.A. Clippers today announced that the team has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Doc Rivers. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Under Rivers’ direction, the Clippers have earned the NBA’s fifth-best record (259-151, .632) across his five-year tenure. Upon joining the team in 2013, he led L.A. to its best record in franchise history (57-25, .695) and a second straight Pacific Division title. L.A. has reached the postseason in four of Rivers’ five seasons with the team. Rivers is the winningest coach in Clippers franchise history by both total victories (259) and winning percentage (.632). Despite coaching an NBA-high 37 unique starting lineups throughout the 2017-18 season, Rivers’ squad was in playoff contention until the final homestand of the season, finishing with a 42-40 record.
Source: Los Angeles Clippers