Will LeBron James Play Tonight? Los Angeles Lakers vs Charlotte Hornets: Preview, Lineups & Predictions

Published 03/17/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
Feb 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) takes the ball down court in the second half of the game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers play host to the Charlotte Hornets tonight. It will be an exciting battle as the current face of the league, LeBron James, takes on LaMelo Ball, who could take over from him once he retires. This is their first matchup of the season.


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Date & Time: March 1, 2021, 8:30pm ET

Venue: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California


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Preview | Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are coming off a three-game winning streak. They entered the All-Star break with two defeats in a row and desperately needed a break. Since returning, they have looked much better and a lot livelier too. In Anthony Davis’ absence, LeBron is continuing to put in the extra effort to lead them and it is working so far.

The Lakers have multiple absentees for tonight’s game. Alex Caruso (concussion), Kostas Antetokounmpo, and Marc Gasol (COVID-19 protocol) are all out for the game along with AD. LeBron James and Markieff Morris are listed as questionable but are likely to play.

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

Starting 5 for the Lakers

Guard – Dennis Schroder

Guard – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Forward – LeBron James 

Forward – Markieff Morris 

Center – Damian Jones

Preview | Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets had their four-game winning streak broken last night. But they will hope to turn it around and bounce back tonight. They have outdone all expectations so far and hold the fifth seed in the East currently. LaMelo Ball might be stealing all headlines, but one cannot ignore the important contributions from Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier in their success.

In contrast to the Lakers’ injury woes, the Hornets enter the game with a fully fit team. Coach James Borrego will be delighted to have his full strength roster to compete against a top team like the Lakers.

Feb 20, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington (25) and Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball, right, hug Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier after Rozier hit the game-winning shot against the Golden State Warriors at Spectrum Center. The Charlotte Hornets won 102-100. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Starting 5 for the Hornets

Guard – LaMelo Ball

Guard  – Terry Rozier

Forward – Gordon Hayward

Forward – P.J. Washington 


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Center – Cody Zeller

Predictions | Lakers vs Hornets

Although the Lakers come in as favorites, it will be foolish to underestimate the opposition. The Hornets have taken down some big teams like the Bucks, Nets, and the Suns. It won’t be a stroll in the park for the Lakers, but LeBron should be able to lead his team past the Hornets. They will have to continue their defensive effort in order to come away with the win or they risk an upset.


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Aaron Mathew

1532 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.