’50-50′ chance LeBron James returns against the Celtics

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After the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks 109-102 to fall to 8-8 this season, LeBron James opened the door to making his return from an abdominal strain on Friday in Boston. “I hope,” James told ESPN on Wednesday when asked if he would play against the Celtics after missing the past eight games and 10 of L.A.’s 16 games because of injury. “I hope.” While Lakers coach Frank Vogel said James is “day to day,” sources close to James told ESPN that there is a “50-50” chance he will be back in the lineup at the TD Garden.
Source: Dave McMenamin @ ESPN

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Dave McMenamin @mcten
New story: LeBron James is inching towards a return from an abdominal injury. Sources tell ESPN it’s “50-50” that James plays in Boston on Friday es.pn/32e2ftp1:04 AM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
The Lakers are going to shift some things when LeBron James comes back (which could be Friday). But it seems like a strong case that Talen Horton-Tucker is now a starter even when that happens: ocregister.com/2021/11/17/lak…12:07 AM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Vogel said that THT has been “terrific” on both sides of the court, and said he’s definitely made a case to start even when LeBron returns. Sometimes scoring/playmaking off the bench is a priority, but he’s been more than good enough to earn a starting spot. – 10:25 PM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Frank Vogel on LeBron’s status: “He’s still day-to-day. No decisions have been made.” – 10:21 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
AD asked if they can evaluate the team yet, at 8-8, but with key guys out.
“We put a team together and we haven’t seen it yet,” he said.
Mentioned LeBron playing only a few games, THT just back (3 games), and Nunn and Ariza yet to debut. – 10:15 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
AD, on the small lineup, said it’s helping them on offense, helps Russ to have the space, but they’re getting hurt on the glass when he’s switching screen/roll out to the perimeter.
That said: “It’ll look better when we have our bigger (wings) back, LeBron, Trevor.” – 10:10 PM

Dave McMenamin @mcten
Asked LeBron James on his way out of the arena tonight if Friday in Boston indeed would be the day he returns to the lineup: “I hope, I hope,” he said. – 10:09 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Anthony Davis career record:
68-24 (.739) with LeBron
225-263 (.461) without LeBron
AD had 1 playoff series win and 2 playoff appearances in 7 years without LeBron. pic.twitter.com/09jzRc7yu210:00 PM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Final: Bucks 109, Lakers 102
The Lakers fall to 8-8 and 4-6 without LeBron James. THT led LA with 25 points and 12 rebounds. AD had 18 points and 9 rebounds. Russell Westbrook had 19 points and 15 assists. Giannis had 47 points on 18-23 FGs.
Up next: at Boston on Friday. – 9:59 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
I think LeBron will make a big difference for the Laker defense
I think Trevor Ariza will be helpful for the Laker defense
I don’t think Kendrick Nunn could possibly hurt the Laker defense based on who he’s replacing
There are valid concerns, but I need to see the whole group – 8:48 PM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Been tough since Anthony Davis checked out at the quarter mark, with the Lakers offense scrounging up 10 points in the first six minutes. One figures that when LeBron James is back, he’ll coax a lot more out of these shifts to start the second and fourth quarters. – 8:30 PM

Jamal Collier @JamalCollier
Sick I’m seeing back-to-back Lakers games and Lebron isn’t playing pic.twitter.com/5gPhiu0uJ87:26 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Vogel said they’ll remain with the smaller lineup tonight, based mostly on creating space for Westbrook and AD offensively, while acknowledging that their bigger lineups have had more defensive success this season. Small lineup will get a big boost when LeBron returns. – 6:10 PM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Frank Vogel says the Lakers are sticking with their recent starting lineup against the Bucks:
Anthony Davis
Carmelo Anthony
Talen Horton-Tucker
Avery Bradley
Russell Westbrook
He said the focus continues to be creating space around AD and Russ, especially with LeBron out. – 6:09 PM

Bill Oram @billoram
Frank Vogel says that the Lakers discussed going big against the Bucks, but ultimately decided to stick with AD at center. Vogel says he wants to “set offensive environment around AD and Russ” while LeBron remains out. – 6:08 PM

Eric Pincus @EricPincus
Latest @BleacherReport If Russell Westbrook Can’t Carry Lakers Without LeBron, What Is He Doing There? – RW wasn’t the ideal “fit” on paper, but the notion he could help carry the load for LeBron was intriguing. That hasn’t been the case however… bleacherreport.com/articles/29505…5:57 PM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
Pregame listening alert!!! Wednesday’s @LockedOnLakers takes a look at this five-game roadie,
the effect of LeBron’s (impending?) return and more. @LockedOnNBAPods @LockedOnNetwork
podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/loc…5:42 PM

Bob Garcia @bgarciaivsports
Stephen A. Smith doubled down on his bold stance regarding LeBron James’ #NBA title chances.
#Lakers #LakeShow
sportscasting.com/stephen-a-smit…2:57 PM

Bob Garcia @bgarciaivsports
Dwyane Wade delivered a three-word message to LeBron James that could push him to extend his #NBA career.
#Lakers #LakeShow #LakersNation
sportscasting.com/dwyane-wade-3-…1:28 PM

Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
“There’s no chemistry there. You talk about our old team in Chicago, we had chemistry.”
Scottie Pippen shares what makes his Bulls team different from LeBron’s Lakers despite both being full of veterans.
Hear @SIRIUSXM’s Town Hall with Scottie Pippen https://t.co/yMzGDzNK6M pic.twitter.com/qmMgtQ06yS12:17 PM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
Wednesday’s @LockedOnLakers podcast. We discuss LeBron’s imminent return, a challenging roadie ahead, and an interesting connection between Westbrook, DeRozan and THT. #FirstListen @LockedOnNBAPods @LockedOnNetwork
Subscribe. Rate. Enjoy. Thx.
podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/is-…11:02 AM

More on this storyline

Bill Oram: LeBron James remains out against Milwaukee but is getting his pregame work in with Phil Handy. This will mark the eighth straight games James has missed since Nov. 2 -via Twitter @billoram / November 17, 2021

Dave McMenamin: LeBron James is officially listed as out for Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee with his abdominal strain, per the Lakers. It will be his eighth straight missed game and 10th missed game overall this season. As @Adrian Wojnarowski reported, it’s possible James will return to the court Fri in BOS -via Twitter @mcten / November 16, 2021

Adrian Wojnarowski: There’s growing optimism that LeBron James could make his return to the Lakers vs. Boston on Friday (ESPN, 7:30 PM), sources tell ESPN. James has been out two weeks with an abdominal strain. Lakers start five-game road trip in Milwaukee on Wednesday. -via Twitter @wojespn / November 16, 2021