As the Lakers look to shore up their chemistry and shot-making ahead of what they hope will be a deep playoff run, their Orlando seeding games are off to a rough start. Fresh off of a 19-point loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, the 2-2 Lakers will be without LeBron James on Thursday as they take on the Rockets.
James is apparently struggling with groin soreness, something Lakers head coach Frank Vogel mentioned after the loss to the Thunder.
The Lakers say that LeBron will be out tonight against Houston due to soreness in his groin. Frank Vogel hinted at something along these lines last night.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) August 6, 2020
In four bubble games, James is shooting just 42 percent, quite uncharacteristic for him, especially during a portion in the season in which, typically, James would be rounding into postseason form. All that rounding is impossible in the unfamiliar confines of the Wide World of Sports complex, and James is struggling, as are the .500 Lakers.
With the No. 1 seed locked up, it’s no surprise Vogel would try to steal a night of rest for James, especially on the second night of a back-to-back. It might be just what James needs to feel better and look more like the player we know him to be. Guard Alex Caruso is also questionable for the game against the Rockets, who are 2-1 in Orlando and have been exploding on offense in a way that will be tough for the depleted Lakers to match.