Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, Lance Stephenson out vs. Bucks
The Los Angeles Lakers are fighting for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. Their season hasn’t been easy, and on Thursday night they received more bad news. The team will be without Lonzo Ball and Lance Stephenson – two regular contributors for Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Via Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints:
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) March 1, 2019
Stephenson, 28, is in his ninth NBA season and his first with the Lakers. The shooting guard sprained his toe during Wednesday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. In a bench role this season, he is shooting 43.9% and averaging 7.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He is on a one year and will be a free agent this offseason.
Ball, on the other hand, has been the team’s starting point guard since he joined the team. He is out with an ankle injury that has sidelined the youngster since January 19. The 20-year-old was originally drafted with the second overall pick of the 2017 draft. This season, Ball is averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 40.6%.
The timing couldn’t be much worse for the Lakers. At 47-14, the Bucks hold the top seed in the Eastern Conference and hold the NBA’s top record. They have won 12 of their last 13 games.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles has disappointed this season. The team is 30-31 and struggling to find consistency. They are currently three games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
According to ESPN’s BPI Playoff Odds, the Lakers have only a 5.2% chance of making the playoffs this season, their first with superstar acquisition LeBron James.