Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James remains a question mark for the LA Lakers on the second night of their confrontation with the San Antonio Spurs. After missing the previous five games, James came back last night and helped the Lakers beat the Spurs.
“King James” played 33 minutes, showing no sign of the strain on his left side that kept him out of the previous Lakers lineup. He finished with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. LA was 16 points ahead of San Antonio when the 18x NBA All-Star tournament took place.
After the game, LeBron James told the media he was feeling “quite fine”. He was only slightly pleased that he made the highest nine spins in the game. The Lakers superstar blamed time off for the mistakes, saying he didn’t have the usual rhythm with his passes.
The Lakers will see how he feels after the morning penalty shootout and start from there. However, James has told the media that it is “very likely” that he will play even if he has to compete as he has not played for two weeks.
Meanwhile, former NBA champion Fred VanVleet has been upgraded to questionable status by the Toronto Raptors. The point guard did not compete last Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets due to an illness unrelated to Covid.
However, VanVleet fully participated in the Raptors’ most recent training session, leaving the team hopeful that he could return tonight against the Dallas Mavericks. The Raptors, who are sliding in two games, will need VanVleet’s presence to end a losing streak.
“Steady Freddy” is averaging 18 points with career-high assists (6.8) and steals (1.9) in 12 games for the Raptors. Without Pascal Siakam and with Scottie Barnes in and out of the squad, VanVleet has been more active in recent games.
Malachi Flynn could start again for the Toronto Raptors if Fred VanVleet remains sidelined.
Pascal Siakam: Tension of the right adductor muscle; Injured since November 4, 2022
NBA 2018-19 Most Improved Player winner Pascal Siakam has missed the last nine games of the Toronto Raptors. He’s been dealing with right-sided neuralgia but has responded to treatment. Siakam is said to have participated in full training last Friday.
However, the Raptors will continue to be extremely cautious with the 2019 NBA champion. He has been allowed exposure in practice and will continue to strengthen his condition. Siakam is expected to return next week.
Before his injury, “Spicy P” was playing the best basketball of his career. He is having the highest career numbers in terms of goals (24.8), saves (9.3) and assists (7.7).
Injury Toronto Raptors could certainly use those stats as they try to keep their heads above the water.
Scottie Barnes: Sprained left knee; Injured since November 19, 2022
Defending NBA Rookie of the Year Champion Scottie Barnes Treating a sprained left knee. He was injured in the match against Atlanta Hawks on November 19, causing him to miss last Wednesday’s match against brooklyn network.
Now, Barnes will miss his second game in a row as he is out when Toronto hosts Dallas tonight. The absence of the former Florida player will cause coach Nick Nurse more headaches. Toronto will be without the services of Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa, Otto Porter Jr. and others.
Scottie Barnes could return on Monday when the Toronto Raptors host the Cleveland Cavaliers.