Lakers vs Suns: Will LeBron James Start Despite Limited Games Claim by Coach Darvin Ham?

Published 10/26/2023, 8:59 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

While the Los Angeles Lakers started their regular season with a defeat against Denver Nuggets, their superstar player was back in all his glory. LeBron James led his team in scoring by posting 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists in the season-opener loss. However, he only logged in 29 minutes in a 119-107 opening-night loss to the Denver Nuggets. And as per Lakers coach Darvin Ham, fans might need to get used to his reduced minutes since it is going to be a trend going forward.

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The Lakers are going to host the Phoenix Suns, who were off to a roaring start at the Crypto.com Arena later tonight. In light of the recent developments, the question arises whether LeBron James would start against the Suns in Thursday’s game.

Will LeBron James start against the Suns?

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Although the Lakers looked a little shaky without their star performer on the court, the changes were made with a bigger picture in mind. James is in his 21st season and is currently the oldest player in the league. He had logged in more minutes than any player in the history of the NBA, with over 65,000 minutes.

As a result of the heavy usage over the years, the 4x NBA Champion has endured a fair share of injuries. He has missed at least 25 games in four of his five seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 35.5 minutes in the regular season last season. That number soared to 38.7 minutes during the playoffs. Consequently, he suffered a serious foot injury in late February that sidelined him for 13 games.

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Therefore, if the Lakers are to make a deep run to the playoffs, they will need their forward to be healthy. Although his opening-night performance was promising, proper rest will only increase his efficiency and effectiveness. This strategy will put the Lakers in a better position to compete in the playoffs while simultaneously helping James prolong his career.

That being said, James will most likely feature in the starting lineup against the Suns. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Gabe Vincent will carry the game during non-James minutes.

Suns vs. Lakers injury report

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The Suns kicked off their season with a 108-104 victory against the Golden State Warriors. It was even more exceptional since they did it without their newest addition, Bradley Beal. The Suns sacrificed all their depth to bring in Beal, so he will play a crucial role in the team’s success. In Beal’s absence, flamethrower Devin Booker came to the team’s rescue with 32 points on 13-21 shooting with six rebounds, eight assists, and one steal in the win.

However, as per their injury reports, both Beal and Booker are listed as doubtful for the matchup against the Lakers. Therefore, it will be quite an uphill battle for the new-look Phoenix Suns.

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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Darshita Daga is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing Bachelor’s in English, she’s a fervent sports enthusiast with a keen interest in sports journalism, specifically covering the NBA. She feels that words have the potential to capture the spirit of a game, evaluate moves, and portray the emotions that occur both on and off the court.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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