Two days after 56-point game, LeBron out vs. Spurs with knee soreness
LeBron James has been playing through a sore right knee for weeks, saying it would be the offseason before he could rest it enough to get it right. Not that you could tell on Saturday when he dropped 56 points on Golden State, carrying the shorthanded Lakers to a win.
However, LeBron could tell on Sunday when his knee soreness got worse. Frank Vogel told the media in San Antonio Monday that LeBron was out for an important game against the Spurs, and it’s possible he could miss multiple games. From Lakers’ reporter Mike Trudell.
LeBron James is out tonight in San Antonio due to knee soreness.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 8, 2022
Vogel said the Lakers are hopeful that LeBron can play at Houston (Wednesday); they’ll see how his knee feels tomorrow and go from there.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 8, 2022
There was some expectation that LeBron could miss a few games after the initial diagnosis of the knee swelling.
The Lakers are already without Anthony Davis, who has a right foot sprain. The Lakers have a -7 net rating this season when neither LeBron nor Davis are on the court (filtering out garbage time, stats via Cleaning the Glass).
The Lakers sit as the No. 9 seed in the West and are likely headed to the play-in tournament (they are 9.5 games out of the No. 6 seed). The Lakers could fall out of even the play-in if they are passed by the No. 10 Pelicans (1.5 games back and with a much easier remaining schedule) and one of either the Trail Blazers (3 games back of the Lakers) or the Spurs (4.5 games back, five games in the loss column). The Trail Blazers are without their three best players and are not making a playoff push (read: tanking). The Spurs could make that push, but Monday’s game would be a must-win for them to have a chance.
That task is a little easier for San Antonio now.