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: