Luke Walton to play in Wednesday's Game 2
The headline gives away most of the important information, but it's good news for the Lakers.
Luke Walton, who missed Game 1 with a left ankle injury suffered in Game 4 of the Utah series, practiced and will play on Wednesday in Game 2 against Houston.
More below the jump.
After practice, Walton stayed on the floor to do extra work, running the floor and testing the injured joint with a series of hard cuts and movements simulating offensive sets. While Walton and Phil Jackson had spoken about playing in Game 2 after Sunday's practice, that he was able to go hard today made his participation Wednesday far more likely.
While Walton said he felt good Tuesday, he's clearly not 100%. "I mean, it's good enough to play," he said. Missing Game 1 was tough, but all in all he feels fortunate it won't be more. "To be honest, (when I hurt it) I didn't know what it was. I had nothing to compare it to," he said of the injury, which turned out to be a partial tear of a deltoid ligament. That's saying something, since Walton is no stranger to ankle and foot problems.
It's never a good thing to view Walton as a cure-all, and I'm certainly not going to do that, but like I mentioned last night, against a team that is very effective defensively adding another guy who can move the ball effectively can only help. Defensively, if he has enough strength in the leg, Walton is a larger body to put on some of Houston's bruisers.
Basically, his presence adds another element to the second unit, and gives PJ more options. Choice is always a good thing.