NEW YORK — The Lakers have painfully discovered only two things certain in the 2014-15 NBA season: losses and injuries.
Lakers forward Jordan Hill became the latest victim. After experiencing minimal improvement in a strained right quadricep muscle that limited him in Sunday’s loss here to the New York Knicks, Hill will travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday morning so team doctors can further evaluate him.
The Lakers (13-15) do not play until Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks (25-22) at BMO Harris Bradley Center, leaving Hill with a chance to return without missing a game. But Hill predicated on Sunday night that he could sit out anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks. The Lakers estimate they will not know about Hill’s condition until Tuesday evening, likely after their scheduled practice in Milwaukee.
Hill played for just over seven minutes in the Lakers’ 92-80 loss on Sunday to the New York Knicks before feeling discomfort in his right hip and groin area. He walked gingerly to the locker room. Afterwards, Hill looked uncomfortable moving as he sat by his locker.
Hill had averaged 12.8 points on 47.7 percent shooting and 8.1 rebounds in 28.4 minutes all as a starter, mostly at center. In the past five games, Hill since shifted to power forward, while Robert Sacre started at center.
Hill’s vacancy could push Carlos Boozer back into the starting lineup. He has averaged 12.3 points on 52.8 percent shooting seven rebounds in 45 games, including 28 as a reserve. Lakers backup center Tarik Black will also likely receive more playing time, though Lakers coach Byron Scott had sat him in four of the past six games after spraining his right ankle on Jan. 19 in Phoenix.
The Lakers have become plagued with injuries all season, most notably season-ending ailments to Kobe Bryant (right shoulder), Steve Nash (back), Julius Randle (right leg) and Xavier Henry (left Achilles tendon.