Ball underwent additional examination this week, with team physicians determining that he’ll need more rest due to a bone bruise related to the ankle injury. He’s missed the team’s last 14 games, with the Lakers holding a 5-9 record during that stretch.
“We obviously miss another ball handler, another playmaker,” teammate LeBron James said recently of Ball, as relayed by ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “A guy that’s very, very good defensively. With his ability to get a steal and pressure the offensive point guard and then push the pace for us, get into our early offense. So we miss that a lot.”
The Lakers are currently three games behind the No. 8 seed Clippers with 21 contests remaining. Los Angeles has often looked to veteran point guard Rajon Rondo in Ball’s absence, but the team’s need for another ball-handler has been clear over the past month.
There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:
- Suns forward Josh Jackson was fined $20K by the organization today, according to Gina Mizell of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jackson failed to show up at a team meet-and-greet autograph session on Wednesday, causing the team to discipline him for his actions.
- Veteran forward Corey Brewer appears to have found a home with the Kings, with the 32-year-old explaining that Sacramento is his top option right now. “This is option No. 1 right now,” Brewer said, as relayed by Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. “I like it here. I love it here. I’m having a great time.” Brewer signed a rest-of-season contract with the Kings today after inking a pair of 10-day deals.
- Lakers guard Rajon Rondo met with head coach Luke Walton before the team’s win against New Orleans on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. Rondo and Walton held a long one-on-one discussion to explore how the team can get back on track, leading to Rondo starting in the victory with Lonzo Ball still out. “It was an honest conversation,” Walton said. “It was healthy and positive.”