As usual, injuries hit several teams recently. Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura was one of the players injured before the Thanksgiving break. Hachimura sustained a nasal fracture in the Lakers’104-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Hachimura underwent a procedure to repair the injury and will be re-evaluated in a week.
Rui Hachimura underwent a procedure today to repair a nasal fracture that occurred during the Lakers vs. Mavericks game on Nov. 22, per the team. Hachimura will be reevaluated in approximately one week.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) November 24, 2023
NBA Rumors: Rui Hachimura, Anthony Davis, Cam Reddish and Donovan Mitchell Updates
Based upon Buha’s reporting, it appears that Hachimura will miss the next four games for the Lakers. As a result, Los Angeles (9-7) will once again be shorthanded when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers (8-7) at Rocket Mortgage Arena on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Hachimura, who is an important role player for the Lakers, has played well since missing four games as a result of being in the NBA’s league concussion protol earlier this month. In fact, the 25-year-old forward has been a top five player for Lakers, averaging 11.9 points while shooting 50% from the field and nearly 43% from deep. He also pulls down nearly four boards a game and owns a plus 1.0 plus/minus rating.
Los Angeles hasn’t had Jared Vanderbilt (heel) all season long and he is in the midst of a return-to-play progression but still isn’t cleared, according to Dan Wolke of the Los Angeles Times. Gabe Vincent (knee) is out as well. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis is likely to play and LeBron James and Cam Reddish are questionable.
Cam Reddish and LeBron James are questionable for Saturday in Cleveland pic.twitter.com/czu9E5jf1H
— Dan Woike is still here for some reason (@DanWoikeSports) November 24, 2023
Reddish is the only one of the three players whose availability is in question to miss the Dallas game. Reddish suffered the groin injury in the first five minutes of LA’s game against Utah on Tuesday. Davis has routinely been listed as probable this season but has plugged through it. James has been listed as questionable the past six contest, like Davis, he has played each game.
The Cavaliers (8-7) also enter Saturday’s contest with injury concerns.
A Look At Lakers Rotation if Cam Reddish Sit Out
If Reddish is forced to sit out once again, Max Christie will likely make his second start at shooting guard as Austin Reaves has played well off the bench. Christie tied his season-high with seven points on 3 of 7 shooting and two rebounds in 23 minutes against the Mavericks. Christie, Reaves and Christian Wood could see a slight increase in workload if both Reddish and Hachimura are out. Reaves, who saw 31 minutes of action on Wednesday, has seen about 29 minutes since being regulated to the sixth-man role.
Meanwhile, Wood averages 20 minutes of action off the bench. Wood has played fairly well this season, but saw only 15 minutes of court time against the Mavericks.
Cavaliers Will Be Without Two Players Tonight
Cleveland has five players listed on the NBA injury report, including Ricky Rubio who remains away from the team. The Cavaliers will be without Ty Jerome (right ankle sprain) and Dean Wade (right ankle sprain). It is the second straight game that Wade, who started the four games prior to suffering the injury, will sit out. Meanwhile, Jerome has sat out the last 13 games There is no time table for Wade or Jermone to return to action.
Donovan Mitchell and Isaac Okoro Could Return to Action
Mitchell and Okoro are both listed as questionable. Mitchell (hamstring) has missed the past four contests while Okoro (knee) has been sidelined since November 4. Both players took part of the Cavs practice on Friday afternoon. It was Okoro’s action since being sidelined with knee soreness earlier this month, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Okoro has been plagued by the knee issue since late last season, so this could be an ongoing issue.
“We’ll see,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said when asked about the status of Mitchell and Okoro after Friday’s practice. “Everything is, how do we respond tomorrow to what happened today? So, we’ll see.”
“I’m not a doctor,” Bickerstaff said. “I think it is something we will always be aware of and will see how he [Okoro] is feeling. But he is feeling good now and we’re gonna give him an opportunity to go out and play and we will take it day by day.
If Mitchell is able to go tonight, he will join the Cleveland’s starting lineup. It would mark just the sixth time this season that the Cavs would have all five of their projected starters available. Darius Garland, Max Strus, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen are the other starters. The Cavaliers have used eight different starting lineups this year.
If Mitchell remains out, Craig Porter Jr. appears to be inline to make his second straight start. The 23-year-old undrafted rookie has played really well. He scored 16 points and doled out five assists in the start against the Miami Heat.
Okoro is a lockdown defender who will come off the bench when he returns. The 22-year-old forward, who has started five of his six appearances, is off to the best start of his career offensively. He averages 9.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 48.8% from the field. He is also knocking down a personal-best one triple a game at a 40% clip.