Already without Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Julius Randle, the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers will also be without Nick Young on Tuesday night as they face the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.
The Lakers' energetic sixth man hurt his ankle at the end of Monday's practice. On Tuesday morning, Lakers coach Byron Scott confirmed that Young would sit out Tuesday's game, and the Lakers announced that Young visited the doctor to determine whether the ankle injury was more serious than initially thought.
With Young out, the Lakers will likely ask Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price to play in tandem with the second unit. Wesley Johnson will continue to assume the backup small forward role, while Ed Davis, Tarik Black and Carlos Boozer battle for the two front court spots on the second unit.
Young's absence lowers the Lakers' chances, but even if Young was healthy, LA's chances were slim. Currently on an eight-game losing streak, the Lakers have been struggling to compete lately. Facing the second best team in the Eastern Conference, the Lakers face long odds of getting a rare win.
Rookie Jordan Clarkson will look to rebound following a tough game against the Houston Rockets on Sunday. On Tuesday night, the rookie makes only the third start of his young career. Playing against John Wall, Clarkson should get a close look at one of the best point guards in the NBA.
Wall averages 17.2 points,10.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, and the Wizards' chief guard has started every game this season. Wall earned a starting spot for the Eastern Conference All-Stars, and the 24-year-old put up 19 points and 16 assists against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Going up against a rookie on Tuesday night, Wall may look to top the 17 points and 16 assists he put up against the Lakers at the start of December.
The only sliver of hope for the Lakers comes in the form of the Wizards' road record. The Wizards have a modest mark of 12-9 on the road this season. Also, the Wizards are 10-7 against the Western Conference, so the Lakers should have the ability to make a game of Tuesday night's contest.
The Lakers and Wizards tip-off at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time at Staples Center. Fans in attendance will receive a commemorative Dr. Jerry Buss ring to honor the Lakers' longtime owner, who passed away in early 2013.