LeBron James and the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers are preparing for a Christmas Day showdown with the Brooklyn Nets, who are also feeling the effects of COVID-19.
However, the Lakers will receive a big boost to their rotation ahead of Saturday night's contest as Avery Bradley and Malik Monk have cleared protocols and are available to play:
Avery Bradley and Malik Monk have cleared protocols, per the Lakers. They’re available vs BKN
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 25, 2021
Los Angeles is still without Anthony Davis and Kendrick Nunn due to injuries, while Austin Reaves, Kent Bazemore, and Trevor Ariza remain sidelined due to the virus. However, getting Monk and Bradley back will definitely add a scoring punch to the Lakers offense.
Monk is averaging 9.7 points while Bradley is putting up 5.8 points per game on a 40% clip from downtown. Any help LeBron and Co. can get right now would be valuable as they're currently on a four-game losing streak.
Although the Nets are at the top of the East, Steve Nash's squad is missing their best player in Kevin Durant. LaMarcus Aldridge, who has been one of their most reliable second-unit scorers, is also in COVID-19 protocols.
That being said, the Lakers should be feeling optimistic a victory could be secured but they'll need standout performances from Bron and Russell Westbrook. As for Monk and Bradley, Frank Vogel will be pleased to have them available again as well.