The Los Angeles Lakers’ big positional weakness this season, as well as last season, is viable, productive depth at both forward spots.
Whenever LeBron James goes to the bench, this weakness is especially pronounced, as Los Angeles has no one who is an effective 3-point shooter or standout defender at the 3 and 4.
But lately, it has been even worse.
Juan Toscano-Anderson sprained his ankle last week and is expected to miss at least two weeks as a result. He has barely played this season, and it is therefore difficult to gauge his true value at this point.
In addition, Wenyen Gabriel, the team’s only other true power forward besides Anthony Davis, has been out with a shoulder injury for the last five games.
But it looks like there is a good chance he will return on Friday versus the Denver Nuggets.
Gabriel lacks offensive basketball skills, but he plays about as hard and aggressively as anyone else, which allows him to attract easy baskets and a good amount of rebounds.
At the very least, he is a very serviceable stopgap solution at the 4 until the Lakers perhaps swing a trade for an even better option.
Lakers player grades: L.A. loses double-digit lead, loses to Celtics
Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire