LeBron James returned to the court over the weekend for the Lakers after missing 20 successive games with an ankle injury. With Los Angeles having lost five of 7 video games before his return, James was expected to supply a spark to the lineup and assist the reeling Lakers in making up some of the ground they had lost in the Western Conference standings.
Instead, the Lakers dropped both of the games that they played with James. And versus the Raptors, James left with ankle discomfort after 27 minutes of action and was ruled out for the rest of the game. As a result, he is preparing for another lack, and it’s simply a matter of whether it will be an extended one.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that James will miss out on the latter end of a back-to-back on Monday night versus the Nuggets while dealing with the ankle problem. Nevertheless, the more critical part of the report is that James’ status for the group’s game on Thursday night is “unpredictable.”.
The game versus the Clippers follows two complete off days for the Lakers is favorable for James, as he’ll have additional time to get his ankle to full strength. James is currently considered “unpredictable,” for a far-out game isn’t a good thing, and it means that the Lakers will be viewing James extremely carefully as he tries to get healthy before the playoffs begin.
In addition to James’ absence, the Lakers will also be without guard Dennis Schroeder as he enters the league’s health and safety protocols. Schroeder ranks 3rd on the group with 15.5 points per video game and has been a crucial part of the group’s rotation with and without James this year.
With simply eight contests left in the season, every video game counts for the seventh-place Lakers (36-28). They’re seeking to avoid playing in the NBA’s play-in competition; however, if James misses out on time, the Lakers could find themselves locked into the No. 7 seed and be a part of the play-in.
James and Co. would like to prevent that’s something, but as long as the team’s star is out, it will be hard for them to string together wins regularly. They have just an 8-13 record in 21 games without James up until now this season.
If the NBA were to end its routine season Monday afternoon (that’s a thing now because of COVID-19 procedures), then the reigning champ Lakers would be the 6th seed in the West for the 2021 playoffs.
The league is pushing forward, and the last two weeks are a go for now. LA may have trouble holding onto that area as a result.
LeBron James is working his way back from an ankle sprain, and the group is relearning how to have fun with him and Anthony Davis. The Lakers lost 121-114 to the Raptors at home on Sunday night to be up to 0-2 since James’ return, and they’ll host the Nuggets on Monday.
They’re precariously close to falling into a 7-8 game in the NBA’s play-in tournament. The Lakers hold the tiebreaker at the moment with a better conference record.
James informed press reporters Sunday that it will not matter where the Lakers are seeded if he isn’t near-complete strength for the postseason, however he’s not delighted that there are play-in video games in general.
” It doesn’t matter at the end of the day if I’m not 100 percent, near to one hundred percent, it (doesn’t) matter where we land. That’s my frame of mind,” he said. “If we wind up at fifth or 6th or whatever the case might be, or if we wind up in the playoff, whatever that … thing is– whoever developed that s– requires to be fired, but whatever.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver talked up a play-in competition in 2019, and team owners were reviewing proposals as far back as 2018. When owners initially floated it, James was versus the concept of a play-in.
He likewise recommended in March 2020, in the early days of the NBA’s coronavirus hiatus, the groups fighting for the final area in the West need to play a round-robin to choose it. The league eventually held an 8-9 video game in the Orlando bubble last summertime. The Blazers beat the Grizzlies in that game and lost to the Lakers in 5 video games in the first round.
Now James’ team might need to play its way into this year’s playoffs under a similar format. You can understand why he’d desire somebody to lose their job over that.