The Los Angeles Lakers announced that LeBron James’ status for Tuesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs has been downgraded from probable to questionable due to right ankle soreness.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise after James’ ankle was fallen on during Sunday night’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies. James immediately got flashbacks to last season when a similar incident happened, costing James almost the entire second half of the regular season.
Luckily though, James avoided serious injury and was able to stay in the game to help the Lakers secure their first victory of the season. After the game though, James stated that his status for Tuesday would be uncertain as he was unsure how his ankle would respond the following day.
James added that he would undergo around-the-clock treatment in order to play on Tuesday, but the downgrade from probable to questionable shows that the ankle may not have responded as well as he’d hoped to the treatment with the quick turnaround.
Just because James is questionable doesn’t mean he won’t play, but considering the Lakers also play on Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a back-to-back, it would be logical to think he would sit out at least one of those games if his ankle is swollen and stiff or in pain.
In addition to James, a number of other players are once again on the injury report ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Spurs:
Official update from the Lakers on LeBron's status tonight. Obviously, trending in the wrong direction, especially ahead of a back-to-back. My guess is he sits tonight and plays tomorrow: pic.twitter.com/PlI8WgCmxT
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) October 26, 2021
If James is unable to go then that would place a bigger burden on Russell Westbrook as far as point guard duties go. That’s why the Lakers went out and acquired the former MVP though, to help take the load off James in the regular season.
Playing without James would still be a big loss though as he is off to another great start to the season, averaging 26.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists while shooting an impressive 48.3% from 3-point range.
James expecting more pick-and-roll with Westbrook
If James is able to play then one thing Laker fans can expect is more pick-and-roll with Westbrook as the screener, which they debuted in the win over the Grizzlies.
“We haven’t put in our full playbook yet,” James said after the game. “Like I said, we have a new team so we still are implementing ways where we can be better offensively. So that’s one of them that we haven’t even exploited just yet, we just put it in tonight, that pick-and-roll.
“A lot of teams are not going to switch point guards onto me on the perimeter and if I’m able to get it to Russ on the three-on-two, his ability to read the game from that position is up there with any playmakers in our game. And obviously he showed it with what he was able to do, getting up in the air and getting Adams to take a look at him for a quick second, wrap it around to AD for the dunk. So that’s something that’s going to work very well for our ballclub moving forward.”
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