The Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff hopes are dwindling after each loss and the team looked completely out of their depth after they were blitzed on the road by the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Portland has always been a tough place to play for Los Angeles but it was made even more difficult when LeBron James was ruled out for the game due to his lingering foot injury. James was able to participate in a workout before the game, but apparently his foot is giving him enough trouble that the team decided it was best for him to sit.
Although the Lakers are vying for Play-In Tournament positioning, James’ health should always come first no matter what. Fortunately, it looks like he’ll get a chance to suit up before the All-Star break as Darvin Ham said it’s likely that James returns on Wednesday at home against the New Orleans Pelicans, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Darvin Ham says “in all likelihood” LeBron James should play Wednesday in the Lakers final game before the All-Star break.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 14, 2023
This is obviously great news for the Lakers, who have been without James the past three games. The King was able to break the all-time scoring record last week against the Oklahoma City Thunder but has not been able to play since.
In James’ absence, the Lakers have managed to go 1-2 and while the lone win against the Golden State Warriors was a bright spot, they can’t afford to drop many games from here on out. Los Angeles is a few games behind in the loss column for the final Play-In Tournament spot and that should give them more than enough motivation to spark a run down the stretch of the 2022-23 season.
The game against the Pelicans also holds massive positioning implications as they too are at risk of falling down in the standings. News broke that New Orleans star Zion Williamson re-aggravated his hamstring injury and is expected to miss multiple weeks after All-Star weekend, so this could be the opportunity L.A. needed to get back in the race.
Hopefully James is able to play against the Pelicans and get the Lakers back on track before the break.
Austin Reaves breaks down what stood out from new additions in win against Warriors
The win against the Warriors was in part due to all the new additions the Lakers made at the trade deadline. Austin Reaves had high praise for his new teammates and even broke down what he saw from them in their L.A. debuts.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!