Lakers Vs. Trail Blazers Preview: LeBron James Remains Out
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers play their penultimate game before the All-Star break on Monday night, ending their short road trip against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.

It goes without saying, but this is a massive game for the Lakers as they continue to sit in 13th place in the Western Conference, looking to move up and get back in the postseason picture. The Trail Blazers are 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers and this marks the fourth and final meeting between the two teams in the regular season.

The Lakers have won two of the first three, so a win in this one would clinch the season series and postseason tiebreaker between the two.

Unfortunately though, the Lakers are once again without LeBron James as he misses his third straight game with foot soreness. The good news is that James got the foot looked at and it didn’t show anything other than general wear and tear, so the Lakers’ superstar is not expected to miss much time.

James could return on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans in the final game before the All-Star break, or he could sit that one out as well to give himself some extra time off leading up to the break.

Regardless, it will be up to other Lakers players to pick up the slack. They did just that in the Lakers’ win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night with new guys like D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley all contributing.

The Lakers’ trade deadline acquisitions give the organization more depth, which helps in a game like this where they are short-handed without James. Mo Bamba is also out for the Lakers as he serves the final game of his suspension for fighting with Austin Rivers.

On the Trail Blazers’ side of things, they are without some key pieces in Jusuf Nurkic and Justise Winslow due to injury. Jerami Grant is also out due to a concussion.

Los Angeles Lakers (26-31) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (27-29)

7 p.m. PT, Feb. 13, 2023
Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: D’Angelo Russell
SF: Troy Brown Jr.
PF: Rui Hachimura
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: Malik Beasley, Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt, Lonnie Walker IV, Wenyen Gabriel

Projected Trail Blazers Starting Lineup:

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Anfernee Simons
SF: Cam Reddish
PF: Nassir Little
C: Drew Eubanks

Key Reserves: Shaedon Sharpe, Trendon Watford, Kevin Knox, Jabari Walker

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