When the 2019-20 NBA season gets underway on Tuesday night, one of the most highly anticipated matchups will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There, the Clippers will play host to their rivals, the Lakers. Both teams are expected to make the playoffs and the Clippers are one of the early favorites to win the season’s NBA title.
When the two teams meet on Tuesday night, the Lakers will be without starter Kyle Kuzma who has been out with a foot injury. Kuzma suffered the injury during a USA Basketball training camp in August. He was just recently cleared for non-contact practices last week.
There is no clear timetable for Kuzma’s return. After a practice on Sunday, Kuzma hung around and got some extra work in with Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy. Kuzma was seen doing a drill where he had to catch a pass on the wing, drive the lane, and dunk. Then, he would immediately pop out to the opposite wing for a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
Kuzma himself was optimistic about his return after getting back onto the court last week. Previously, he had been limited to pool workouts. He progressed to running on an altered gravity treadmill and has been able to shoot jump shots for past two month. He is limited to no contact, half-court drills for now and will build up to full contact practices.
The third-year pro averaged 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists last season. With Kuzma out of the starting lineup, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is likely to go with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and Avery Bradley and Danny Green in the backcourt. Vogel did employ that starting lineup twice during the preseason.