Lakers: Trevor Ariza out eight weeks with ankle injury
The Lakers probably need Anthony Davis at center to achieve their goals.
Which reportedly meant a likely starting lineup of Russell Westbrook, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza and LeBron James behind him.
But Ariza is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Injuries aren’t completely predictable. But by building a roster heavy on older players – like Ariza, 36 – the Lakers left themselves more susceptible to issues like this.
That said, Los Angeles is playing to compete deep into the playoffs. If Ariza misses some of the early regular season – which opens in less than two weeks – but is fresh for the postseason, this absence won’t be a problem.
In the meantime, no Lakers neatly duplicate Ariza’s defensive-oriented, glue-guy skill set. Los Angeles could start Carmelo Anthony as an offense-first forward, use a smaller wing in that role or even start Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan at center with Davis sliding to forward with LeBron.
The Lakers have plenty of depth/optionality. It’s almost as if they anticipated predicaments like this.