The Los Angeles Lakers are down to one true point guard, and his name is Marcelo Huertas. Jose Calderon joined D'Angelo Russell on the sidelines, when the 35-year-old underwent an MRI on Monday to reveal a strained hamstring. The expected recovery time for the injury is 2-4 weeks, so the Lakers expect to field an even thinner roster in the coming days.
Russell, however, could be back sooner rather than later if his sore knee has healed. On Monday night, the 20-year-old point guard will miss his ninth straight game due to the injury and 10th overall. The Lakers have won three and lost seven of the 10 games the former Ohio State Buckeye has skipped thus far.
In the best case scenario, Russell could be back as early as Wednesday night in Houston, if his sore left knee has responded to the PRP injection administered nearly two weeks earlier.
LA is also without starting shooting guard Nick Young due to a strained calf, so the back court has become a bit of a MASH unit in recent weeks. For Tuesday's game, LA will likely look to Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram to start, with Lou Williams, Metta World Peace and Huertas as the only other viable options.
Lakers coach Luke Walton decided to cancel Monday's shootaround, probably because the team is still reeling from a strenuous road trip but also because the Lakers are short on numbers these days. The team also announced that rookie center Ivica Zubac had been recalled to the team from the LA D-Fenders, which is the Lakers' Development League affiliate.
Considering the size and length of Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the decision to recall Zubac may be an insurance policy should starting center Timofey Mozgov get in foul trouble. Or, considering Larry Nance Jr. is also listed as questionable, it could just be a desperate attempt to guarantee at least 11 active players for Monday's game.
Considering Monday kicks off a stretch of 11 games in 19 days in nine different cities, the Lakers will need every healthy body they can get.