Will LeBron James Play Tonight? Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Injury Updates, Lineup and Game Predictions

Published 02/08/2021, 2:00 PM EST
Feb 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during overtime against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have a two-game mini-series scheduled against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The last time the two teams met, the Lakers crushed the Thunder with a 128-99 score.

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So, this will be a shot at redemption for Mark Daigneault’s team. However, it won’t be easy because the Lakers are one of the top teams in the Western Conference with an 18-6 record. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is at the bottom half of the table with a 10-12 record.

Los Angeles Lakers injury update and lineup prediction

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Watching the reigning champions wreak havoc this season has been nothing short of entertaining. After ensuring they have the best players in the roster possible to get them their second straight title, it is safe to say that they are heading in the right direction. In fact, the Lakers haven’t had a losing streak longer than two games.

However, their last outing against the Detroit Pistons wasn’t what anyone expected. While we all thought it was going to be an easy win for the Lakers, the Pistons really pushed them to their limits. Thankfully for them, a determined LeBron James scratched and clawed for a hard-fought victory in the second OT.

If it weren’t for James, the purple and gold would be in big trouble right now. And that actually might be the case in this matchup.

With Bron, Anthony Davis questionable for this game, and Kostas Antetokounmpo and Jared Dudley ruled out, the Thunder could have a big advantage over them. In that case, expect their third scorer, Dennis Schroder, to lead the team.

With that, the predicted lineup would be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol, and Wesley Matthews.

Feb 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Delon Wright (55) steals the ball from Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder injury update and lineup prediction

It is surprising to see OKC in the 13th spot in the West. But that has a lot to do with their players not keeping healthy, and their back-to-back games with the Minnesota Timberwolves is the perfect example of that.

In their last game against the Timberwolves, they had a record-breaking 83 points by the end of the first half. However, they slowed down in the second half and they ended up winning by 2 points. If LeBron and Davis sit out, the Thunder actually have a shot at gaining the first W of the two games.

Their best player is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished with 31 points against Minnesota. If the OKC wants this win, they have to rely on Shai to have a big night.

With Mike Muscala and Isaiah Roby out, the predicted lineup would be Darius Bazley, Theo Maledon, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Al Horford, and Luguentz Dort.

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Jan 24, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) scores past LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Game prediction

Undoubtedly, the Lakers are the favourites to win this matchup. However, the OKC can make it tough for them if they can somehow recreate what they did in the first half of their matchup with Minnesota.

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Yashima Bhatia

1083 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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