Through 10 games this season, the Los Angeles Lakers sit at a dismal 1-9. The team is playing some terrible defense and there aren't enough shooters to contend with high-octane teams like the Golden State Warriors, who won in convincing fashion Sunday night by a score of 136-115.
Some onlookers are speculating the team is tanking, others simply think its players aren't performing up to expectations. Whatever your thinking may be, there's one thing we can all agree on right now: The Lakers need to get healthy in a hurry.
For the second consecutive season, Los Angeles has been decimated by injuries, and poor showings are a direct result. There are new developments on the injury front for the Lakers—some good, and some bad. Here's a look at the latest from around the Web.
During the Lakers' ninth loss of the season on Sunday, forward Ryan Kelly was lost to injury once again. Mike Trudell of Lakers.com was the first to tweet the prognosis:
Kelly had just returned to the Lakers rotation from a similar injury. In fact, Trudell later tweeted it was the same hamstring once again:
Sunday's game against the Warriors was just his second of the season. He played well against the San Antonio Spurs in his usual supporting role, logging 12 minutes and racking up five points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal. He appeared to be continuing in the same fashion against Golden State but only lasted five minutes before he left the game for good.
Kelly garnered some praise from coach Byron Scott after the game, via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation:
This injury will have to be closely monitored, as hamstring injuries tend to linger. The Lakers already lack depth in their frontcourt, and missing Kelly for any significant amount of time could certainly prove to be detrimental to the team.
Luckily, not all injury news is bad for Los Angeles. The Lakers have been without Young for the duration of the season after he injured his thumb during a preseason practice. The swingman underwent surgery and was forced to wear a hard cast on his shooting hand while he recovered.
Once he graduated to a soft cast, he was finally able to start taking some limited reps in practice, but he still appeared to be far off from returning. Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times tweeted his updated timeline on November 12:
Well, those 10 games are completed, and good news has arrived. According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, Young practiced fully for the first time on Saturday. When asked about a possible return for Tuesday's game, the forward simply said, "Get your popcorn ready."
Trudell tweeted one more update on Sunday:
Finally, the return of Young is imminent. He's been sorely missed after a fantastic 2013-14 season in which he averaged 17.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game off the bench. The Lakers need shooters, and Young was their best one a year ago.
Bryant was viewed as a game-time decision on Sunday, as the guard was dealing with an illness. Even if he did choose to play, his role was expected to be slightly reduced. Well, he did play, but his role was as large as ever.
The veteran began putting up shots right out of the gate, accumulating 24 attempts in the first half alone. Although, according to ESPN Stats & Info, that was nothing new for the guard:
Bryant finished the game scoring 44 points after going 15-of-34 from the floor. Sunday marked the 121st time he's put up more than 40 points, earning this astonishing achievement, via ESPN Stats & Info:
Still, Bryant's usage is a bit concerning. He's still coming off of an injury-plagued year, and the last thing the Lakers need is any kind of setback.
The veteran explained why he attempted so many shots during a press conference with The Associated Press, via ESPN.com: "I'd rather get guys involved early. That's always the intent. But when you go down 10-12 points in the hole, man, I've got to try to keep us in the ball game at some point. The responsibility is on me. I mean, when things go good, it's us. When things go bad, it's me."
With Young expected to return for the team's next game, hopefully another viable shooter on the court will take much of that pressure off Bryant, extending his longevity.