Sunday, May 29 2022
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The Los Angeles Lakers were without one of their three All-Stars on Tuesday as they defeated the San Antonio Spurs without LeBron James. On Wednesday, things might get even tougher. James, still dealing with pain in his right ankle following Sunday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies, remains out. Anthony Davis might be joining him on the sideline. After suffering what looked initially like a serious knee injury against the Spurs, Davis returned to the floor and finished the game, but is now listed as questionable with right knee soreness. 

The Lakers started Malik Monk in place of James Tuesday, and he went on to have one of the best games of his career. He scored 17 points and was a team-best plus-31 in a game that went to overtime. If Davis has to sit out, the rotation gets even thinner. James and Trevor Ariza are two of the only four forwards on the roster. If Davis is out as well, that leaves Carmelo Anthony as the only other forward available. In fact, if DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard can’t combine for 48 minutes, Anthony might even have to play some center. The remaining guards might have to split some forward minutes as well. 

Fortunately, Oklahoma City is one of the weakest interior teams in basketball. Derrick Favors is the only true big man on the team, but because of their dedication to developing their young players, the Thunder are giving him only around 16 minutes per game. If there was an opponent the Lakers could get away with such a thin frontcourt against, it would be this one. 

A win would give the Lakers a three-game winning streak and take them above .500 for the first time this season. Getting there would likely mean another strong game from Russell Westbrook, who had 33 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on Tuesday. If James and Davis are out, he’d need to be the focal point of everything the Lakers do offensively against his former Thunder team. If Tuesday is any indication, he’s up for the task. 

Source: CBSSports.com

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