clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lakers vs. Bulls Preview: Looking for revenge

LeBron James will look to try and continue playing after his surprise return on Sunday, this time looking to avenge that loss as quickly as a team can with a rematch against the Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday.

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers now have 7 regular season games remaining until they find out if they’ll have a postseason of any kind. They’re currently the 9th seed in the Western Conference heading into to Tuesday’s night of action, still in danger of missing the play-in tournament for the second season in a row, and the playoffs overall for the third time in LeBron James’s five seasons with the team.

Adding to the apprehension of the situation for Lakers fans, the team is coming off a loss only to be forced to embark on a 4-game road trip (5 if you include the concluding “road” game vs. the Clippers).

Luckily, that loss can quickly be forgotten with a good start to this road trip, especially since the trip starts with the exact team that beat the Lakers on Sunday: the Bulls. They’ll face off on Wednesday in the Windy City.

Here’s what to look out for:

LeBron James has... returned?

Amidst the loss, the Lakers at least came out of Sunday knowing their leader, LeBron James, had returned from injury. And what a miraculous return from injury it was, especially when you consider the multiple reports from NBA’s biggest insiders (that LeBron condemned at the time) that he would be trying to return for the final 3 games of the season. Instead, he now has a chance to play in the final 8, including Sunday’s loss.

However, despite returning on Sunday, the injury report seems to indicate that LeBron is not a lock to play Wednesday in Chicago. He is listed as questionable.

Now, it should be pointed out that before the recent injury that he suffered in that game against the Mavericks in Dallas, LeBron was playing despite questionable diagnoses on a nightly basis. Still, that situation is completely different than this one when you consider the torn tendon that LeBron claims he suffered that required “The LeBron James of feet” to get him back as quickly as he returned.

We’ll see if he ends up suiting up, but on a more positive note, D’Angelo Russell is listed as probable! He missed the last two games with the hip soreness that popped up out of nowhere. His return will allow for better lineups throughout the game, while also raising the team’s shooting floor.

If LeBron feels good the closer it gets to game time, this will be only the 3rd game that he, Russell, and Anthony Davis have played together since Russell first played for the team on Feb. 11. And on top of that, the 2nd game saw Russell get injured in the first quarter, so they’ve really only played 1 full game together.

In that 1 full game, the Lakers blew out the New Orleans Pelicans on the road. Will the Lakers secure another dominant road win if LeBron suits up?

They’ll have to capitalize against their old friend Patrick Beverley and the rest of the surging Bulls if they are to do so.

Notes and Updates

  • Alex Caruso (left midfoot soreness) is listed as questionable for the Bulls (sadly not for the Lakers). He played in Sunday’s game vs. the Lakers, but missed Monday’s game vs. the Clippers. Javonte Green (recovery from right knee surgery) will also be questionable. He missed nearly all of January and February, played in a couple of games last week, and then has since not played. However, that is due to a combination of the injury and being out of the rotation. Justin Lewis (ACL tear) will be out.
  • I’d be remised if I didn’t point out Lonzo Ball (left knee surgery) on the injury report. All the best wishes out to him, as he hopefully will be able to come back from yet another knee surgery at some point late next season.

The Lakers and Bulls will tip off at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on Spectrum SportsNet.

You can follow Donny on Twitter at @donny_mchenry.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Silver Screen & Roll Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Los Angeles Lakers news from Silver Screen & Roll