Throughout the early part of the season, the LA Lakers have had to deal with a number of obstacles. It appears the Lakers are going to have to deal with another one.
In a report from Lakers beat writer Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the team canceled its practice today ahead of its flight to Dallas because of health and safety protocols. The Lakers were scheduled to visit the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
Usually, when a team cancels practice, there has been a positive COVID-19 test. The team already had to deal with this earlier in the season when LeBron James registered a "false" positive test and was forced to miss a game against the Sacramento Kings.
In a report from NBA Insider Shams Charania of The Athletic, it appears forward Talen Horton-Tucker tested positive. Charania reported that Horton-Tucker has entered the league's health and safety protocols and could miss multiple games.
Horton-Tucker has been a valuable asset in the rotation. In his last four games, Horton-Tucker has averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 46.7% from the field.
The Lakers (15-13), who have won six of their past nine games, are sixth in the Western Conference, just two games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (17-11) for fourth.
Among its litany of obstacles, the team initially had to deal with superstar forward LeBron James missing extended time with an abdominal injury. Other players have also missed time with injuries. The Lakers finally looked to be gaining some momentum as they seek to match their season high of three wins in a row Wednesday night at the Dallas Mavericks.
For a team like the Lakers, who have suffered a rollercoaster of inconsistent play, it's an unfortunate development. The Lakers want a win Wednesday night against the Mavericks (14-13), because they have an upcoming schedule of challenging opponents.
After the game in Dallas, Los Angeles has two more road games: at the Minnesota Timberwolves (12-15) on Friday and at the Chicago Bulls (17-10) on Sunday.
From there, the Lakers will come home to take on imposing opponents in the Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets. They host Phoenix (21-5) on Dec. 21 and Brooklyn (19-8) on Christmas. A home game against San Antonio (10-16) will be played on Dec. 23. Phoenix set a franchise record with an 18-game winning streak that ended earlier this month, and Brooklyn has won 12 of its last 16 games.
All records are ahead of Tuesday's games. Phoenix (at the Portland Trail Blazers) and Brooklyn (hosting the Toronto Raptors) play Tuesday night.