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Pacers Links: LeBron and the Lakers visit the Fieldhouse; everybody loves Vic

The Pacers have a rough back-to-back against a Lakers team in chaos that should get a boost from LeBron James.

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers host the Los Angeles Lakers for their annual visit to the Fieldhouse and as usual the Lakers arrive with tons of buzz.

Not only is LeBron James on the squad and probable to play after playing in just one of the team’s last 19 games, but much of the roster remains in limbo while being mentioned in trade scenarios for Anthony Davis. Oh, and Lance Stephenson makes his return to BLF.

There was a point yesterday when it appeared a deal may be brewing which would have left the Pacers with six or seven players for the Pacers. But now, all are available and unless there is a public mutiny by the players on the trade block, the Lakers will be motivated to win with LeBron back in the lineup. Regardless of his health and the team’s effort to transition for a future with AD, LBJ is not giving up a season without making the playoffs.

The Lakers are 21-14 when James plays, but their 6-12 record without him has the team currently sitting in 10th place in the West thanks to a groin injury LeBron suffered on Christmas Day. In other words, they need to win against a short-handed Pacers team on a back-to-back.

Among the links today, let me highlight the piece by Scott Agness about Quinn Cook supporting Victor Oldipo and the long-time friendship the two have shared. Interesting to read how VO has been his feathery self since at least fourth grade and was a positive force of nature in high school, just as he is today for the Pacers. The Athletic has great stuff across the board and Scott delivers some fantastic human interest profiles about the Pacers regularly.

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers vs Lakers | Indiana Pacers

Game Rewind: Pacers 109, Pelicans 107 | Indiana Pacers

Pacers hold off Pelicans to close trip 2-2 - Indy Star

Quinn Cook of the Warriors dedicates his season to the Pacers’ Victor Oladipo, a childhood friend – The Athletic

Pelicans can't capitalize on hot start, fall to Pacers 109-107 | Pelicans |

New Orleans Pelicans lose hard-fought 109-107 contest to Indiana Pacers - The Bird Writes

What The Indiana Pacers Should Do At The NBA Trade Deadline - Forbes

Turner's Block brings energy to Pacers home games | 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Grades: Indiana Pacers keep their bread crumbs, starve Pelicans

Magic Johnson, Lakers competing with Pelicans desire to wait on Anthony Davis - ESPN

There Are Glaring Issues With The Lakers' Anthony Davis Trade Bid

NBA Trade Rumors: Will the Lakers actually trade for Anthony Davis this week? - Silver Screen and Roll

Lakers news: LeBron James probable to play vs. Pacers on Tuesday