NBA superstar LeBron James could make his long-awaited return tonight against the San Antonio Spurs. He last played in the fourth quarter against the LA Clippers on November 9.
The LA Lakers have officially listed “King James” as questionable in San Antonio. Despite the questionable status, fans are looking forward to seeing the four-time NBA MVP return after Chris Haynes reported his imminent comeback.
The Lakers are 3-2 over the last five games without James and 3-3 overall. James is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals before he suffered a left adductor strain.
Darvin Ham initially replaced LeBron James with Wenyen Gabriel in the starting lineup but has since given that role to Austin Reaves. Without James, Reaves has given the Lakers a solid contribution with his underrated playmaking and heads-up play.
James’ absence has forced Anthony Davis to take on an even bigger role for the Lakers. AD has responded in a big way as he has put up MVP-like numbers. It remains to be seen whether Davis will continue to be as aggressive and as dominant if “King James” is back on the floor.
Meanwhile, back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic is listed as probable against the LA Clippers tonight. The Serbian superstar is dealing with left hip soreness and will be continuously monitored by Denver’s medical staff.
Before playing the last two games, Jokic missed the previous four due to Covid-19. He didn’t take time off to ramp up conditioning once he cleared the league’s health and safety protocols. It’s probably a big reason why his hips have been sore.
After his return from Covid-19, Nikola Jokic did not miss a beat. He continues to be the hub of everything the Denver Nuggets run on offense. Unless something dramatic happens, Jokic should be available tonight.
Joel Embiid: Left mid-foot sprain; Injured since November 19, 2022
Orlando will be without the 2022 NBA Draft’s No. 1 pick, Paolo Banchero. Without Banchero, the 76ers might be willing to give Embiid more time to recover.
Paul Reed and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner Montrezl Harrell are expected to get more playing time without Joel Embiid.