LeBron James had a successful return from the groin injury which held him out of 17 games from late December to early January. When the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Clippers last Thursday, James was on the floor and due to the game going to overtime, logged heavier minutes than expected. The star forward scored 24 points with 14 rebounds and nine assists while seeing 40 minutes of action.
Due to the huge workload in his first game back, Luke Walton and company chose to hold James out of Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. While the day off didn’t point to any setbacks, it seems there’s positive news on his outlook for Tuesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
As Ryan Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet revealed, James stated that he would return to the lineup.
While James “woke up sore” after the game against the Clippers, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, his return against the Pacers would be a welcomed sight. Let’s take a look at the Lakers’ roster and starting lineup for the game.
Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Pacers
|Center||Ivica Zubac||Tyson Chandler||JaVale McGee|
|Power Forward||Kyle Kuzma||Michael Beasley||Moritz Wagner|
|Small Forward||LeBron James||Josh Hart (Q)|
|Shooting Guard||Brandon Ingram||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk|
|Point Guard||Rajon Rondo||Lance Stephenson|
As cited above, Josh Hart is currently listed as questionable. It’s unknown if he’ll suit up currently, but if ruled out it would likely lead to more minutes for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson.
The Lakers are actually fairly healthy ahead of this game, with all things considered. Lonzo Ball remains out with an ankle injury and is unlikely to return until after the All-Star break. Ball, along with multiple other Lakers have been the topic of trade rumors involving New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
With James back in the lineup and the Lakers slowly drawing closer to 100 percent, Odds Shark shows them as roughly a three-point favorite against the Pacers.
Latest on Lakers’ Trade Talks for Anthony Davis
It seems there’s a chance the talks of acquiring Davis prior to Thursday’s trade deadline could be cooling off. Although the Lakers have continually made a big push, the Pelicans are pushing back and even declined a huge deal, an offer reported by Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
To make matters worse, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that the Lakers are “pessimistic” about the Pelicans being willing to make a deal with them at this point.
Assuming this stands true over the coming days, the Lakers may have a fairly quiet trade deadline and could shift their focus of adding another star to the upcoming offseason.