Will Anthony Davis and LeBron James Play Tonight? Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers: Preview, Injury Updates, and Prediction

Published 02/26/2021, 2:00 PM EST
Feb 16, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) in the second half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers are two of the most talented teams in the Western Conference that are struggling to sustain their form at the moment. These two teams play each other on Friday; but who has a better chance of winning?

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Venue: Staples Center

Time: 10:00 PM ET (February 26, 2021) 

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The Lakers are currently third in the Western Conference, while the Blazers are fifth. A striking similarity about their situation is that both teams have their second-best player sidelined due to injury. 

Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers: Injury Updates and Lineups

Lakers

The LA Lakers were initially the towering favorites to end the regular season atop the Western Conference, but as the season progressed, injuries deterred their hopes. Right now, the team holds a 22-11 record and has suffered a four-game losing streak. 

Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel (right) talks to his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the Lakers 96-94 loss to the Miami Heat at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers are the sixth-best team in the league in terms of offensive rating, but the team has lost its shine without Anthony Davis running up and down the floor. Furthermore, the defending champions have three players on the questionable list for the Blazers game: Kyle Kuzma (back), Markieff Morris (ankle), and LeBron James (day-to-day).

Besides these players, Dennis Schroder will be unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols. 

Possible Lineup

LeBron James (G) 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G) 

Talen Horton-Tucker (F)

Montrezl Harrell (F)

Marc Gasol (C) 

Blazers

The Blazers have been playing some energetic basketball to sustain their place as one of the Top 5 teams in the West. CJ McCollum’s injury (left foot fracture) has shorthanded Portland, but the league’s third-best scorer, Damian Lillard, has been stepping up whenever required. 

The Blazers have two players missing the Lakers game on Friday, in addition to the long-term absentees, McCollum and Zach Collins. The team updated that Jusuf Nurkic will be unavailable until after the All-Star break and Harry Giles III (calf) will possibly miss the Laker game. 

Possible Lineup

Damian Lillard (G) 

Gary Trent Jr. (G) 

Derrick Jones Jr. (F) 

Robert Covington (F) 

Enes Kanter (C) 

Prediction

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Before we make the prediction, it should be said that this will be a crackling game. Two of the best in the league will go head-to-head and are bound to produce some mind-blowing plays. 

Jan 24, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots over New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton (6) and guard Alec Burks (18) during the first quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams are currently on a losing streak; hence, a victory would be vital for either. However, we feel that the Los Angeles Lakers are going to grab the win in this one purely based on the fact that LeBron James would be fired up more than ever to get his team back on a winning track! 

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Arjun Athreya

1719 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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