After a narrow 106-103 victory over the Orlando Magic on October 30, the injury-prone Lakers lost to the Magic in their revenge rematch 101-120 on November 4. This Magic team has a record of 4-2 and sees themselves in 4th place in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Lakers are 3-3 and in 7th place in the Western Conference. Both teams seem to still find their identity throughout the tournament. The young Magic roster will try to compete with a stacked Eastern Conference that includes the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and a few others. The Lakers who will always be contenders as long as they have a healthy Lebron James and Anthony Davis will try to contend with Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. The Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Sacramento Kings are also in consideration. What is next for the Lakers and why are they struggling early on?
An Injury-Prone Lakers Team
Quick Game Analysis: Lakers vs Magic
The Lakers saw Lebron and Davis both do their thing. King James had 24 points, 5 assists, and 9 rebounds in 35 minutes. AD had 28 points, 3 assists, and 13 rebounds. Austin Reaves had arguably his best game of the season so far with 2o points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds in 34 minutes. Although the Lakers trio did well, the whole team struggled as a whole because of injuries. The Magic saw plenty of success as a young team.
Lakers Injuries Against the Magic
Injuries have been an issue with the Lakers since the season started. They have been out without their power-forward/center Jarred Vanderbilt because of a left heel injury. Rui Hachimura, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Taurean Prince, and Gabe Vincent were also out during the Magic game. Vanderbilt is a starter when healthy. Hachimura and Prince have seen quite a lot of time since the season started. One can argue Prince has earned a starting role. Hood-Schifino is a young player who has yet to play the season due to injury. Vincent seemed to finally get into a good rhythm before the injury. With 5 players out the depleted Lakers had no chance against a young healthier Magic team. No one off the bench seemed to stand out and Cam Reddish who started in the lineup for the first time this season did not impress. Who will play against the Miami Heat and who is injured?
Quick Injury Report for Lakers vs Heat
Both teams seem to have key players out for this game. Vanderbilt, Hachimura, Hood-Schifino, and Gabe Vincent are almost certainly sidelined for this game. Hachimura is in concussion protocol, Hood-Schifino has a right patella contusion, and Vincent is dealing with a knee injury. Prince could return and Jaxson Hayes’s status is not clear yet. Heat could be without star player Jimmy Butler. Butler is dealing with knee tendinitis and his status is probable so he could play but he could not too. Caleb Martin is also dealing with a more serious knee injury and he will not play against the Lakers. RJ Hampton is also questionable to play. So with a short-handed roster for the Lakers what is next?
What is Next for the Lakers?
The Lakers will look to shake off the beatdown the Magic gave them on November 4th with a hopeful victory over a struggling Heat team. The Heat are also battling their own injuries just like the injury-prone Lakers. Both teams need this victory to gain some momentum as their rosters seem to be short-handed as of late. The Lakers’ next three games are visiting the Heat (tomorrow), then visiting the Rockets in Houston (Nov. 8), and their first in-season tournament game on November 10 as they visit the Suns.