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Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Preview: Help is (probably) on the way!

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Dennis Schröder is on track to make his return in Portland.

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Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

For the last week, the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had Dennis Schröder or Anthony Davis available to play. Schröder has been inactive due to contact tracing, and Davis has been sidelined with a calf strain and Achilles tendinosis.

With just Davis out of the lineup this season, the Lakers have gone 5-1. With Schröder and Davis out of the lineup, they’ve lost four consecutive games, which they haven’t done since Dec. 2020.

The good news for the Lakers is that they went on a nine-game winning streak after their four-game losing streak last season, so they’ve gone through something like this before and bounced back from it. The great news is that Schröder is expected to be available when they play the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on Friday. The team is listing him as probable.

In Schröder’s last appearance for the Lakers, he scored 24 points on 9-15 shooting from the field and he stole the ball four times. The Lakers won that game 112-104 without Davis. They will still obviously be counting down the days until Davis can come back (and apparently Davis is too) but in the meantime, Schröder will be a big help, especially when it comes to on-ball shot creation and playmaking. With both Schröder and Davis out, the Lakers have struggled to get their offense going when the ball is isn’t in James’ hands. And even sometimes when it is.

Schröder will also help the Lakers’ defense despite his size for a point guard. He’s a good point-of-attack defender and has more foot speed than anyone on the roster. They’re going to be better if Schröder comes back. Now we just have to wait and hope he tests negative one more time.

Notes and updates

  • Elsewhere on the injury report, LeBron James (left ankle sprain), Kyle Kuzma (back strain) and Markieff Morris (right ankle sprain) are all probable to play.
  • Morris was candid when discussing the Lakers’ four-game losing streak, saying the team’s issues are “all mental” right now.
  • And in case you missed it: Our own Harrison Faigen chatted with Davis over Zoom about a variety of topics on Thursday, including the Lakers’ play without him, his health and a whole lot more.

The Lakers and Trail Blazers will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PT on Friday. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN, and locally on Spectrum SportsNet.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.