Andre Drummond had a disappointing debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. He scored four points on 2-of-6 shooting, and despite his standing as arguably the NBA’s best rebounder, pulled in only a single board as he struggled to shake off the rust of more than a month off. The Lakers were outscored by eight points in his 14 minutes of play, and after leaving the game late in the first half, was ruled out after only a brief third-quarter stint due to a right big toe contusion.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that Drummond almost didn’t return in the second half, but wanted to give it a go. He is considered day-to-day and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. Following the game, Drummond revealed that Brook Lopez stepped on his foot in the first quarter, which caused his toe injury.
If he does need to miss any time, the Lakers are fortunately deep at the center position. Drummond replaced Marc Gasol in the starting lineup Wednesday, and Gasol did not play until the fourth quarter, suggesting that the Lakers were ready to stick with Drummond and Montrezl Harrell as their only big men had the injury not gotten in the way. Gasol and Harrell had split their center minutes this season, an especially important position with Anthony Davis out.
The Lakers are hoping Drummond can help keep them afloat in the Western Conference playoff race until Davis and LeBron James return from injuries of their own. They simply cannot afford any more health problems, so hopefully, Drummond can recover in time to suit up for the Lakers Friday against the Sacramento Kings.
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