After salvaging their four-game road trip with a win over the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Lakers return home on Sunday night and host the Portland Trail Blazers.
As has been the case all season, the injury report is of significance in this game for both teams. The Lakers are without LeBron James due to a left calf contusion as he hurt it early in the win over the Suns. Even though he was able to finish the game, he admitted he was feeling sore after and was deemed questionable for this game.
After seeing how the calf felt on Sunday morning, it was ruled that James isn’t healthy enough to play so the Lakers must win this game without him. L.A. is also without Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent and Jalen Hood-Schifino as they continue to work their way back from their respective injuries although big man Anthony Davis is able to play after being listed as probable.
Being without James is definitely significant as he is off to another outstanding start to the season. Despite being in Year 21, LeBron has not slowed down one bit, averaging 25.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 56.9% from the field, which would be the best mark of his entire career.
Darvin Ham opted to make a change to his starting lineup in the Lakers’ win over the Suns, bringing Austin Reaves off the bench in favor of Cam Reddish. That move ended up being a good one as both players played well and Reaves still saw 35 minutes of action. Without James though, both Reaves and Reddish could start in this game.
On the Trail Blazers side of things, they are also without a handful of key players as Malcolm Brogdon (left hamstring strain), Scoot Henderson (right ankle sprain), Anfernee Simons (right thumb ligament tear) and Robert Williams III (right knee ligament tear) have all been ruled out.
The Lakers are getting their first look at Deandre Ayton in Portland after the Trail Blazers acquired him in a blockbuster offseason trade. He’s not quite the scoring force he was in Phoenix although that could change against L.A. given how many Portland players are out.
Even though James isn’t able to go for the Lakers, this is a prime opportunity to get back to .500 at 5-5 and remain undefeated on the year at home, so hopefully they can take advantage of it against a rebuilding squad.
Los Angeles Lakers (4-5) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (3-5)
7:00 p.m. PT, November 12, 2023
Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Austin Reaves
SF: Cam Reddish
PF: Taurean Prince
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Rui Hachimura, Jaxson Hayes, Christian Wood, Max Christie
Projected Trail Blazers Starting Lineup:
PG: Skylar Mays
SG: Shaedon Sharpe
SF: Matisse Thybulle
PF: Jerami Grant
C: Deandre Ayton
Key Reserves: Toumani Camara, Jabari Walker, Justin Minaya, Moses Brown
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