The Los Angeles Lakers are fighting for important positioning on Sunday night. Their season finale against the Utah Jazz is the first key to their potential success. A win against Markannen and co. will give LA a fighting chance to earn the sixth seed over the Golden State Warriors. Doing so would allow them to skip the Play-In Tournament and enter the playoffs against the Sacramento Kings. With that in mind, the question on Lakers fans’ minds is simple: Is LeBron James playing tonight vs. the Jazz?
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LeBron James injury status vs. Jazz
Once again, LeBron James is listed as questionable for the Lakers’ upcoming game against the Jazz. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence nowadays: LeBron is almost always listed as questionable due to his nagging injury. However, it’s a 50/50 shot whether LeBron plays or not, based on how the standings play.
The Clippers’ latest win ensured that Lakers will not be able to catch the 5th seed. However… they hold the tie-breaker against the Warriors above them. If LA wins their game against the Jazz, then they could still get that sweet sixth seed, provided that Golden State loses to the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans lose to the Timberwolves.
In theory, there’s a chance for the Lakers to make the playoffs. In practice, though, the road is much, much harder for LeBron James and co. Even if they win against the Jazz, the Warriors are facing a Blazers team that is knee-deep in the tanking sauce. There’s a high likelihood that Golden State wins that game. The Wolves-Pels game is also a total coinflip for LA.
However, the Lakers might still want to try their luck and see what happens in the Warriors game. The benefits of skipping the Play-In Tournament outweighs any risk they might have with LeBron James’ injury. Besides, a loss to the Jazz will lock LA to the eighth seed and a road game in the Play-Ins. That’s obviously less than ideal?
So, to answer the question: Is LeBron James playing tonight vs. the Jazz in their season finale? We aren’t sure ourselves yet.
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