Nine days ago, the Lakers lost their second game in a row to the Dallas Mavericks, guarantying that the Mavs would hold the tiebreaker of the Lakers for Western Conference seeding. Three games later, LeBron James returned after a 20-game absence only to lose two games against the Kings and Raptors before having to leave the lineup again after his right ankle became sore. The Lakers are 2-2 since he was sidelined again, with the team most recently putting together their best win in a while against the Phoenix Suns behind a monster Anthony Davis performance (42 points and 12 rebounds). Now, The King is set to return again.
Below, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that LeBron is “targeting” a return for tomorrow against the New York Knicks. Following the Lakers’ practice this afternoon, Frank Vogel did not comment on his status for tomorrow but said he was a full participant in the Monday practice (per Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen & Roll).
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 10, 2021
Frank Vogel says that LeBron participated in the Lakers' full practice today. No update on his status for tomorrow.
— Play-in Game Faigen (@hmfaigen) May 10, 2021
The Lakers are still without Dennis Schröder (health and safety protocols) but the return of a fully healthy LeBron James could finally give this Lakers team the final piece needed to fulfill their championship aspirations. Still, you have to wonder if LeBron will truly be healthy after returning only to be sidelined again so quickly. However, Anthony Davis, Frank Vogel, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope don’t seem to be that worried (Anthony Davis quote transcribed by Silver Screen & Roll).
Anthony Davis: “What I seen from LeBron today… he’ll be fine,” Davis said. “Trust me, he’ll be fine. He’s been in this game long enough. Obviously, he hasn’t missed a ton of games, but he’s been in this league long enough to be able to come back and lock in and do what he got to do to help the team.”
Frank Vogel on LeBron:
"He looks good in his workouts … obviously there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period in terms of him getting his rhythm back … I've tended to learn to have confidence in LeBron in situations like that."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) May 10, 2021
KCP on LeBron: "He'll be playoff ready."
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) May 10, 2021
We are currently eight days away from when the Lakers’ probable first play-in game will be. Buckle up, everyone!