The Los Angeles Lakers will likely be short-handed Friday evening.
LeBron James is expected to rest the upcoming back-to-back against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers this Thursday and Friday, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
LeBron missed six weeks with a high right ankle sprain before returning last Friday against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers went 0-2 against Sacramento and Toronto before LeBron decided to rest the ankle some more.
"I definitely want to get healthy. Not only for myself, but for our team," James said after Sunday's loss to Toronto. "I need to make sure my ankle is where it was before the injury. I've got to be smart with it."
Friday's game against Portland will be crucial with the teams separated by just a game in the standings and the winner of the game will win the tiebreaker.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Blazers are the seventh seed in the Western Conference which means they are slated to participate in the play-in for the second consecutive season.
However, the Blazers are a game out of the fifth seed in the Western Conference. The Lakers, Mavericks and Trail Blazers are all within one game of each other and all want to avoid the play-in.
Both Dallas owner Mark Cuban and LeBron have voiced their disapproval of the play-in format with their teams in danger of the seventh seed.
"Whoever came up with that s--- needs to be fired," James said Sunday.
Portland hosts the Lakers on Friday, May 7th at 7:00 p.m. PT on NBC Sports NW, the official home of the Portland Trail Blazers.