NUGGETS

Two big-bodied Lakers are still out after rumors of return

Apr 24, 2024, 9:54 PM | Updated: 9:55 pm

There was some buzz that both Jarred Vanderbilt and Christian Wood would be back in the lineup for Thursday’s Game 3 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, but it won’t happen.

The NBA’s official injury report released on Wednesday had both stout forwards out the all-important game at Crypto.com Arena.

Wood, a free agent pickup this past summer who measures in at six-foot-eight 214 pounds, has been sidelined since Feb. 14 because of discomfort in his left knee. He opted for surgery on March 19. He averaged 6.9 points on 46.6% shooting, 30.7% from deep, and 5.1 rebounds in 17 minutes per game this season.

Vanderbilt, a former Nugget who also is exactly six-foot-eight 214 pounds, has been out since Feb. 1 with right mid-foot sprain suffered. Prior to that, Vanderbilt had been coming back from left heel bursitis. On the season the hustle forward averaged 5.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a night.

The absence of both has been felt as the Los Angeles Lakers bench has only gotten points from Taurean Prince thus far through two games.

While both Wood and Vanderbilt have been in the league for a while and neither has slowed Jokic, based off how tired Anthony Davis and LeBron James seem to be getting, the two returning could’ve been big for Darvin Ham.

Instead, it’s back to Los Angeles where the Nuggets swept last season and have a chance to do the same thing in this series. Denver has now beaten the Lakers 10 straight times and if L.A.’s comeback relies on Wood and Vanderbilt—well they might have to be the first team ever to come back from down three games to none since we won’t see them until Saturday.

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Two big-bodied Lakers are still out after rumors of return