Former Duke standout, Marvin Bagley III, has suffered a right hip and groin strain which will keep the high flyer sidelined for two to four weeks. This injury occurred just around the mid-way mark of the fourth quarter in a summer league matchup between the Kings and Suns. Bagley attempted to front first overall pick, DeAndre Ayton, in the post, but ended up not succeeding in doing so. Bagley’s long, athletic frame at 6’11” 235 pounds wasn’t able to move stalwart, DeAndre Ayton, standing at 7’1 260, out of the paint. On the play, Ayton had his way with Bagley, pinning him low to the ground. Once the ball was thrown in the air, Bagley took off from a disadvantageous position and made contact with a brick wall.
The injury comes at a bad a time for Bagley and the Kings because of the short evaluation window that comes with summer league. Even with earning the second overall pick, there are still some concerns with Bagley’s game. Though he is an elite athlete, there are questions about who he matches up with on the defensive end because of his slender frame. On top of that, Bagley still needs to show the ability to consistently knock down shots from deep and then develop the knack of finishing at the rim with his right hand. However, in limited summer league action, Bagley was able to show flashes of potential with some ball handling repsonsibilities as well.
Sacramento also needs to see Bagley play to feel how he fits in the rotation. Second year big man from Duke, Harry Giles, has stepped up for the Kings on the block. He is now fully recovered from his knee injury and has extended his range to the three point line. The two fellow Dukies could develop into a fierce duo on both ends of the floor, but Bagley must be healthy. The Kings having an aging Zach Randolph and could really use the young big men to step up to their potential in large roles.
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How will the Lakers adjust without Lonzo Ball?
Not one, not two, but a total of three Lakers have been sidelined with impactful injuries, just within the past thirty days. First, it was four time MVP, Lebron James, just weeks after, it was veteran back-up point guard, Rajon Rondo, and now as we speak, starting point guard, Lonzo Ball. Ball’s injury was sustained moments after the second year point-guard caught a skip pass, coming from the far, right corner to the top of the key. After receiving the pass, Ball headed straight towards the rim but when cut off by Houston Rockets wing, James Ennis, his ankle gave out as he gingerly fell onto the court. Ball had to exit the game for its entirety and was unable to walk off the court under his own power.
Quite frankly this injury comes at an inopportune time for both parties- the Lakers and Ball. Not only will Ball’s inherited gifts such as his length, size, and athleticism be missed, but also the incessant improvements to his outside shooting and defense that have shown through, recently. From an X’s and O’s adjustment standpoint, look for the Lakers to utilize Brandon Ingram more as a primarily ball handler in the starting lineup. His length and adept ball-handling skills advertise him as a viable candidate to get the ball up and the down court in an efficient manner. Ingram is also a worthy interim-replacement because he sticks to the script when it comes to getting his team into their offensive sets. In other words, his game doesn’t embody many selfish tendencies which makes it easier for other players to involve themselves in the offense. That being said, even though Ingram may be their best option, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the main approach will be to move the ball via competent passing. Ingram isn’t equipped with nearly as much speed in the open court like Lonzo; therefore, it is more feasible to put emphasis on passing as the main mode for movement because the ball always outruns humans.
In regards to the future, news has already broken out that the severity of the sprain is viewed as a grade 3. The protocol for Ball realistically will be wearing an ankle brace for 2-3 weeks. It is important the Laker’s training staff takes the ultimate amount of precaution, with Ball being regarded as a piece of the posterity for this this team. Ball has the chance of suiting up to play in about 6 weeks. Lakers fans are going to have to hold tight for a little while to see their young stud suited up.
How bad is the Lonzo Ball ankle injury?
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball suffered a left ankle inversion sprain in yesterday’s game against Houston. He was not able to bear weight on the ankle and had to be carried off the court. He underwent an MRI, which revealed a grade 3 ankle sprain. This means a complete tear of the lateral ankle ligaments. He will be treated in a walking boot for 2 to 3 weeks, followed by an ankle brace.
A realistic return to play after this injury is about 6 weeks although it could be even longer. Surgery is rarely required but may be necessary in the future if he develops permanent ankle instability.
Until Rajon Rondo returns, the Lakers will likely rely on Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart to cover the point guard position.