Lakers Los Angeles Kentavious CaldwellPope daytoday with mild
Lakers' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope day-to-day with knee injury Fri, 28 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700-An MRI on Los Angeles' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on Friday showed no tear to his injured left leg, leaving the Lakers guard day-to-day heading into Sunday's …
LOS ANGELES — A day after Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's bruised left quad forced him out of Game 3 of L.A.'s first-round playoff series with the Phoenix Suns, the injury showed slight improvement and an MRI administered on Friday revealed no tear and no structural damage in the left knee, sources told ESPN.
He is day-to-day with what the Lakers called Friday a mild left knee contusion.
Caldwell-Pope exited the Lakers' 109-95 win on Thursday with 4 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the third quarter after Suns guard Devin Booker backed into him while dribbling, making contact with the shooting guard's leg and causing him to fall to the floor.
“I immediately felt pain when he bumped me, and it hyperextended,” Caldwell-Pope said afterward. “And it was painful enough where I couldn't finish the game.”
Caldwell-Pope will see how his leg responds to rest and treatment on Saturday and then a determination will be made as to his status for Sunday's Game 4 (3:30 ET, ABC), sources told ESPN.
Caldwell-Pope finished with five points, four rebounds and two steals on Thursday. For the series, he is averaging just 4 points on 22.2% shooting (8% from 3), 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, significantly down from his season scoring averages of 9.7 points on 43.1% from the field and 41% from the outside.
Late in Game 2, with Caldwell-Pope shooting 0-for-4 for the night, game broadcast cameras showed LeBron James standing face-to-face with Caldwell-Pope, imploring him to keep shooting when he is open.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that while L.A. values Caldwell-Pope's long-range abilities, his defensive activity on Booker is of the utmost importance in the series.
“His primary role is to defend and to run the floor and provide that spacing when double-teams come, and some nights there's going to be a lot of shots, some nights there's not,” Vogel said. “But we just want him to remain confident, which he does.”
After scoring 65 points through the first two games of the series, Booker was kept in check in Game 3, totaling 19 points on 6-for-19 shooting and four turnovers before being ejected in the final minute for a flagrant foul 2 on Dennis Schroder.
Los Angeles Lakers' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope day-to-day with mild … Fri, 28 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700-Los Angeles guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is day-to-day as the Lakers get ready for Game 4 of Round 1 of the NBA playoffs with a mild left knee contusion, …
Jovan Buha, Lakers beat writer: Caldwell-Pope is the Lakers’ best 3-and-D wing. He’s their best shooter and an optimal fit in any lineup. He’s essential to Los Angeles’ identity, as his defensive activity often leads to transition points, and there are few players quicker than Caldwell-Pope on the break.
He’s played solid defense on Devin Booker, chasing him around and through on- and off-ball screens. Though he’s yet to make shots in the series, he’s still a 3-point threat that Phoenix respects away from the ball.
If hes out, who'll replace him?
Buha: The most likely replacement for Caldwell-Pope would be Wesley Matthews, a career-long starter and the Laker with the closest skill set to Caldwell-Pope — though it’s worth noting Caldwell-Pope is better than Matthews on both ends.
Matthews should fill in as a 25-plus-minute option against Booker. The trickle-down effect in the rotation will also lead to more minutes for Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso and possibly Talen Horton-Tucker. Caldwell-Pope’s absence will be most felt with his floor-spacing, as there isn’t another Laker shooter that commands the same level of respect from the Suns’ defense.
(Photo: Adam Pantozzi / NBAE via Getty Images)
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– May 28, 2021
lakers vs suns, Suns, Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis