Will LeBron James Play Tonight? Lakers vs Blazers Injury Updates, Lineups, and Game Prediction

Published 12/28/2020, 5:00 PM EST
Dec 27, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) defends Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) as he drive to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers finally looked like champions in their last two games against the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers’ deep bench was on full display in these two games.

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The champions saw some minor injuries, which meant that the bench had to step-up, and they did so in style. The Lakers beat the Timberwolves with ease despite their superstars not playing many minutes. They will hope that they can do the same against the Blazers.

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off of a thrilling victory against the Houston Rockets. Given the superb performances by CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard, the Blazers just edged past the Rockets.

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The Blazers will have to be at their best if they want to have a real chance of beating the Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers–Injury and Lineup Updates 

Lakers

The Lakers, in the last two matches, have stepped up as a unit. The new additions, Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder, specifically have been great rotational pieces for the team. They have taken some offensive load off of LeBron and AD’s shoulders.

Coming into the Minnesota game, the champions had announced that Anthony Davis will miss the game because of a right calf contusion. He had sustained this injury in the season opener and re-aggravated the same against the Mavericks. Given the sparse time available, Davis might not be available against the Trail Blazers.

Dec 25, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) reaches to block a shot by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James might have aggravated his pre-existing injury when playing against the Timberwolves. He had suffered from an ankle sprain against the Clippers and tweaked the same ankle against the Wolves. Vogel has been vocal about being cautious of injuries to their stars. But given the possibility that Davis might not play, we might see LeBron James be available for a couple of minutes on the court.

Alex Caruso also suffered from a minor hand injury against Minnesota, but it might not factor in for Caruso’s availability for the next game. With Davis most probably missing out, coach Vogel will be hopeful that Kyle Kuzma can replicate his stellar display against the Wolves and replace Davis’ output.

Possible Lineup

Dennis Schroder (G)

Kentavious Caldwell Pope (G)

LeBron James (F)

Kyle Kuzma (F)

Marc Gasol (C)

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off of an epic match against the Houston Rockets. Their stars, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard, stepped up big time after an underwhelming display against the Pacers.

Dec 26, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) defends during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Blazers also have some injury concerns. Carmelo Anthony will not be playing against the Lakers owing to health and safety protocols. Nassir Little is also set to miss the game due to the same reason.

Zach Collins is also missing from the roster after suffering from an ankle fracture. With key players like Melo missing from the roster, the pressure only piles up on McCollum and Lillard. The Blazers will look to bring their ‘A’ game against the champions.

Possible Lineup

Damian Lillard (G)

CJ McCollum (G)

Derrick Jones Jr. (F)

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Robert Covington (F)

Jusuf Nurkic (C)

Prediction

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The biggest determining factor in this game will be the availability of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. If both the players end up starting for the Lakers, the chances will be very slim for the Trail Blazers. If they do not, however, it will be a real test to see how Lakers play without their stars.

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Aditya Mohapatra

689 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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