LeBron James Injury: Will Back or Not? Can It Affect Your Betting Strategy?

LeBron James Injury: Will Back or Not? Can It Affect Your Betting Strategy?

The last time LeBron James took the court for the Los Angeles Lakers was last Tuesday when he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record. The Lakers have rested him the past two games, a home loss to Milwaukee and upset win at Golden State, due to ankle soreness but he’s likely to play tonight when LA visits Portland.

Lakers’ LeBron James Likely Back From Injury Monday vs. Trail Blazers

When: February 13th, 2023
Where: Moda Center

Time: 10:00 PM ET


Ideally, the Lakers would let LeBron sit out through the All-Star break with that ankle and he would skip playing in the game to rest it up, but James is again a captain for the ASG and he’s not missing that in Salt Lake City this Sunday. His 19 straight All-Star selections have passed Kobe Bryant for most all-time and his 19th overall selection ties him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most selections in NBA history.

Also, the Lakers can’t exactly afford to rest him any longer as they currently sit 13th in the West and two games back of the final play-in tournament spot.

James passed Kareem with a 14-foot turnaround fadeaway shot with 10.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter against the Thunder to reach the milestone. Abdul-Jabbar held the scoring record for 14,187 days (April 5, 1984 – Feb. 7, 2023), equivalent to 38 years, 10 months and two days. LeBron is averaging 30.2 ppg this season, seventh in the league.

James has dealt with left foot soreness all season, with his recent ankle injury further aggravating it. He’s missed several games already due to the foot, often on back-to-backs, to manage it. James’ injury delays the debut of the Lakers’ new starting lineup. The starting unit is expected to consist of James, Anthony Davis and new addition D’Angelo Russell, with Dennis Schroder, Malik Beasley and Austin Reaves competing for the other guard spot, and Rui Hachimura or Jarred Vanderbilt filling in the third frontcourt spot.


Saturday’s upset in Golden State could prove huge as Russell had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds in his Lakers return after being acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline, while Schroder scored 26 points. Davis had a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds and blocked one of his three shots on a late jumper by Klay Thompson. Vanderbilt contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.

Portland (27-29) sits tied for 11th in the West. The Blazers lost for the third time in four games Friday, 138-129 at home to Oklahoma City. Portland couldn’t stop Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who matched his career high with 44 points. Gilgeous-Alexander was 13 of 16 from the floor and hit 18 of 19 free-throw attempts. He was the first player in Thunder history to score 40-plus points on 80% shooting. Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 38 points, and Jerami Grant added 23. Lillard ranks fourth in the NBA this season in PPG with 31.0. In the loss, he moved past Walt Frazier (5,040) to move up to the No. 70 spot on the NBA’s all-time assists list. He currently has 5,049 career assists.

The Trail Blazers started Cam Reddish, who they acquired in a trade before the deadline with the Knicks. Reddish scored 11 points starting in place of Josh Hart, who was sent to New York in the deal.

Portland has three players averaging 20 or more points this season: Lillard (31.0), Anfernee Simons (21.6) and Grant (20.8). The Trail Blazers have never had a season in which three players were averaging 20-plus points.

The Lakers lead the 2022-23 series between Los Angeles and Portland, 2-1. In 34 career games against the Lakers, Lillard has scored 30-plus points 16 times, including six of his last nine matchups. The most recent game was Jan. 22 in Portland and the Blazers lost 121-112 and blew a 25-point halftime lead. James finished with 37 points and 11 rebounds.

Thomas Bryant added 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers in the comeback, tied for the second-biggest halftime deficit that the team has erased for a win in franchise history. Bryant was traded last week. Davis was out injured. Simons had 31 points for the Blazers and Lillard 24 points and 10 assists.

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