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- LeBron James could return on Tuesday or Wednesday when the Lakers play the Knicks and Rockets in a back-to-back schedule.
- The Lakers are currently tied with the Blazers for 6th place in the West team standings.
- Los Angeles still has the second best odds to win the NBA championship at +400 at the BetOnline App.
LeBron James went back to the injured list shortly after returning from a 20-game absence. L.A.’s King missed their game against the Nuggets earlier this week and also Thursday’s blowout loss to the Clippers.
According to a report from The Athletic, James could be back next week in one of the team’s back to back games against the Knicks and Rockets on Tuesday and Wednesday. If that’s the case, then he will not be playing in the Lakers’ crucial game against the Blazers on Friday, which could determine their playoff fate.
Lakers, Blazers Tied for 6th
https://t.co/Pqxh2EPubW – Play-In Picture: Lakers, Blazers tied heading into Friday showdown.
The Play-In picture got remixed again as LA and Portland face a crucial showdown in the chase for No. 6 in the West. (via Matthew Petersen)https://t.co/R5Tv7D8vzQ pic.twitter.com/3QYbNyTZkz
— NBA (@NBA) May 7, 2021
The Lakers have been very cautious with LeBron’s ankle to make sure that he is as healthy as possible when the playoffs begin. However, James being sidelined during this important stretch of the season ( at least for the Lakers ) isn’t ideal for a team that is trying to avoid falling to 7th place and joining the play-in tournament which would add at least one more game to their schedule.
The Lakers are currently at 37-29 on the season and they are tied with the Portland Trail Blazers for the 6th spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers play the Blazers on Friday in Portland in a game that would not only give the winner temporary sixth place but also the tie-breaker in their season series which could be crucial. Online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag has Portland as a -7.5 point favorite to beat the Lakers.
Despite their current woes and the possibility of falling to 7th place after Friday’s games, the best NBA betting sites still believe that the Lakers can turn things around during the playoffs. The BetOnline App currently has the defending champions as the +210 odds on favorite to win the Western Conference and the Lakers are still second in the championship odds boards at +400.
AD Still Confident
Anthony Davis is still confident in the Lakers’ title hopes if they can get healthy, which is of course a big if as he, LeBron James and others continue to deal with injuries.https://t.co/fvNRqyM6rf pic.twitter.com/fOoH592oO2
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) May 7, 2021
Just like the oddsmakers, Anthony Davis is still confident of their title hopes if they can get healthy. But that’s a big if. Davis himself left Thursday’s loss to the Clippers with back spasms although he looked like also hurt his ankle during the game. Then the Lakers are still without Dennis Schroder who is out due to COVID-19 protocols. There’s no question Schroder will be back. But can LeBron and AD return to 100 in time for the playoffs?
Davis has missed a total of 35 games this season and the Lakers have held the fort without him, going 18-17 during those games. The team is a little worse without LeBron as L.A. is 9-14 in the 23 games he’s missed this campaign. But Los Angeles is just 3-7 in their last 10 games played and have lost four of five heading to Friday’s big game.
This season has been like no other with players getting hurt here and there. But this was expected because of the short turnaround time after the previous campaign. The Lakers and Heat are the ones hurt most by this because they played in the Finals last season. Miami is also struggling at no. 7 in the East right now while dealing with injuries all season long.
Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit’s Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn’t busy jotting down his thoughts, he’s just chillin’ at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.