UPDATE: Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis will play for the Lakers on Monday evening. LeBron was considered a game-time decision with the team and him determining if he’d play following his pregame warmup.
There we have it! Bron starting. https://t.co/YudbgVRoDi— Edwin Garcia (@ECreates88) October 31, 2023
The early signs were good for LeBron playing as he was listed as probable on the injury report early in the day. At no point was AD listed, meaning there was no doubt he would play on the day.
LeBron James listed as probable tonight for the Lakers pic.twitter.com/dVMSgJjUqA— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) October 30, 2023
It should be noted that LeBron is listed with left ankle tendonitis. The aforementioned new participation policy indicates that players must have a legitimate injury to sit out games.
If the Lakers are thinking long-term, they could continue to list LeBron on the report with this injury, which may eventually allow them to rest him. Obviously, there also exists the possibility it is something legitimate, but either way, it’s worth noting.
The original story follows.
For many reasons, Monday’s loss to the Kings was less than ideal. On top of letting a winnable game get away from them, the contest also featured overtime and a heavy workload for LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Even in normal circumstances, that wouldn’t be great. But the team’s first back-to-back comes on Monday, meaning those big minutes for the Lakers stars is even worse.
Less than a week after much discussion of him playing under 30 minutes against the Nuggets, LeBron played 39 on Sunday. His counterpart, AD, played 42 minutes as well. And now, both will have questions about their availability on Monday.
Postgame, head coach Darvin Ham was asked if the team had made decisions on LeBron and Davis’ availability Monday vs. Orlando.
Darvin Ham on if the Lakers have decided on the availability of LeBron, AD, etc., tomorrow with the Lakers playing Orlando in the second night of a back-to-back: "Not as of yet."— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 30, 2023
The season isn’t even a week old and every game has had some sort of storyline about LeBron’s minutes. The team clearly wants to limit them this season, but LeBron also has fairly regularly played back-to-backs with the Lakers. This will be an early first look at how the Lakers are going to weigh LeBron’s minutes and load management vs. how it may impact the Lakers.
There may not have been much discussion about Davis’ minutes this season, but there certainly was plenty of discourse about him sitting on the second night of back-to-backs. The team very much did not worry about the context of the game when it came to Davis, but will that plan carry over into this season?
It’ll be a very interesting decision, especially for a team that has dropped two of their first three games of the season.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.