The Los Angeles Lakers can’t catch a break. Since losing LeBron James to a groin strain injury on Christmas Day, they’ve slipped to ninth in the western conference. Rajon Rondo’s been out for an extended amount of time due to a finger injury, and now their point guard of the future is hurt.
During the Lakers’ 138-134 overtime loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday, Ball collided with James Ennis and turned his left ankle. He had to be carried off the court, and you could tell from his reaction that the injury was pretty bad.
An MRI revealed that he sustained a Grade 3 sprain to his ankle, and will miss the next four to six weeks of action, the team announced.
“It’s just another moment for us to get stronger,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “Another moment for other people to continue to step up. Zo is really finding himself a nice rhythm. We’ll miss that and the continuity but we’ll keep our heads up and keep grinding.”
Ball, having a bit of a down year, is averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per contest. This injury comes at a time where the Lakers are slipping out of playoff contention, and desperately need their best players to be healthy if a postseason run is the objective.
The hope from most Lakers fans is that somehow the team constructs a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans that lands Anthony Davis in Los Angeles. If that indeed does happen, there’s a good chance Ball, Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma won’t get to enjoy the LeBron experience for too much longer.
With the Feb. 7 trade deadline approaching, the Lakers have some serious thinking to do about how they plan to attack the remainder of the regular season.