Quarter-Season Grades for Each Los Angeles Lakers Player

The Los Angeles Lakers limped into the season's quarter-season mark with a rash of injuries. And yet they're somehow still within shouting distance of playoff contention in the Western Conference.

After an unexpectedly strong start, the team has had a skid, losing eight of its last 10 games. Maladies contributed to the slump, including those to starting point guard D’Angelo Russell, starting shooting guard Nick Young, backup point guard Jose Calderon and reserve center Tarik Black. Power forwards Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. also missed some recent action.

But Sunday night brought welcome news as Russell and Young both made their returns. The Lakers lost to the New York Knicks—bringing their loss streak to six in a row—but it was a close game up to the final seconds.

With a crop of mostly young and talented players, as well as the league’s leading bench unit and a new coaching staff headed by Luke Walton, this is a squad that plays an exciting uptempo game.

After years of rebuilding and multiple lottery draft picks, the Lakers finally seem headed in the right direction.

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