Dennis Schröder to miss Lakers’ next two games – Orange County Register

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Going short-handed is the new normal in the NBA this season. Now in their first serious bout with absences, the Lakers will find themselves down two starters until at least Thursday.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Saturday afternoon that point guard Dennis Schröder will miss at least four total games due to COVID-19 protocols, including upcoming games against the Washington Wizards on Monday and Utah Jazz on Wednesday. ESPN reported that Schröder is being quarantined after a possible COVID-19 exposure but has tested negative so far – under NBA protocols, Schröder needs to return seven negative tests in a row.

In addition to the calf strain that will keep All-Star big man Anthony Davis out beyond the All-Star break, the Lakers find themselves without two key starters and the team’s second- and third-leading scorers, as well as the second- and third-leading assist men. Davis and Schröder average 36.7 points, 12 rebounds and 7.3 assists combined this season.

The enormity of that setback was readily apparent in slow starts against Brooklyn on Thursday and Miami on Saturday as the Lakers struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Still, Vogel continued to express confidence in the team’s depth and emphasized that he’s looking for more aggression from the players who are healthy.

“Everybody is empowered a little bit more when we have somebody like Anthony out and we have somebody like Dennis out,” he said.

Injuries and absences have a way of piling up, so one of Vogel’s primary goals without Davis and Schröder is monitoring LeBron James’ workload. While his season average of minutes is about on par with last season (34.6), he’s played 37.7 minutes per game in February. Even though the Lakers have struggled without James on the court – especially lately – Vogel said he hopes to keep his minutes roughly on course with what he was playing when Davis was healthy.

“We want to be responsible with not overdoing it,” he said. “Even with the mindset, how long he’s out there at once is probably more of a priority than the totality of his minutes by the end of the night. We want to be responsible with that and in doing so, continue to win games.”

LAKERS, HEAT PAY PASSING HOMAGE TO FINALS SERIES

In some ways, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, it feels like two weeks ago. In others, two years.

It’s hard to have context for the bubble Finals, where the Lakers topped Miami in October, set at Disney World in a surrealist atmosphere. The best way for Spoelstra to make sense of the second season he’s coaching during a pandemic is to focus on the present.



Read More:Dennis Schröder to miss Lakers’ next two games – Orange County Register

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