Will LeBron James Play Tonight? Grizzlies vs. Lakers Injury Updates, Lineups, and Match Prediction

Published 01/03/2021, 3:00 PM EST
Jan 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives up and under the basket against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers are beaming with confidence after posting back-to-back wins against the San Antonio Spurs. The 2020 NBA champions now fly to Memphis, where they will take on a Grizzles team massively handicapped by injuries. 

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Venue: FedExForum

Time: 6 PM ET (January 3, 2020)

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It will be a contrasting matchup between two Western Conference teams as one is high on confidence while the other is crippled with bad news. However, the NBA is famous for its unpredictability, so anything can happen at the FedExForum on Sunday. 

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers  – Preview and Lineups

Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are currently 2-3 in the regular-season and a string of injuries are making them vulnerable to more defeats. The team is currently placed ninth in the West, but there is a chance that they might drop down further.

Ja Morant’s ankle injury has put the Grizzlies in a tough position, as he’s expected to be out for the next three weeks. Furthermore, another starer in Jaren Jackson Jr. will also sit out the game due to knee problems. 

Dec 12, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) moves to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie (20) in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The list goes on, as center Killian Tillie and forward Jontay Porter also listed out for the Lakers game on Sunday. Grayson Allen and Xavier Tillman aren’t back to 100% fitness from their previous injuries, so their participation is also questionable

Possible Lineup

Tyus Jones (G)

Dillon Brooks (G)

Kyle Anderson (F)

Brandon Clarke (F)

Jonas Valanciunas (C) 

Lakers

The Lakers seem to be in sublime form at the moment. They gained massive momentum by posting consecutive victories against the Spurs after a seemingly slow start to the season. As they gear up to take on the Memphis Grizzlies, here are a few players who might not play against them: 

The Lakers’ first blow is in the form of Alex Caruso’s health. The explosive guard will not play the Grizzlies game due to COVID-19 protocols. Furthermore, both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and LeBron James (ankle) are listed as questionable for the game. 

Possible Lineup

Dennis Schroder (G)

Wesley Matthews (G)

Kyle Kuzma (F)

Anthony Davis (F)

Marc Gasol (C) 

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Prediction

There really isn’t a second outcome to this game, especially when these teams match on paper. The Lakers look strong favorites in this one, especially due to the absence of Ja Morant. The purple and gold have enough talent to get them the W even without LeBron, but that isn’t the case for Memphis. 

Dec 30, 2020; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson (3) looks to pass as Los Angeles Lakers guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) and Dennis Schroder (17) and forward Anthony Davis (3) defend in the third quarter at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

With a line of players sitting out due to injury, they will find it hard to cope with the intensity put forth by Anthony Davis and the Lake show. So, our prediction is that the Los Angeles Lakers will win the game by a comfortable margin and improve their winning streak to three games.

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Arjun Athreya

1729 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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