Is LeBron James playing tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers? | 2021-22 NBA season

LeBron James and the LA Lakers will host the Portland Trail Blazers in a Western Conference game Friday night.

Both teams are desperate for a victory. Portland (13-21) is on a three-game losing skid and has lost 13 of its past 16 games. Los Angeles (17-19) has lost six of its last seven games.
The Lakers are seventh in the West, and the Trail Blazers sit 12th (of 15 teams).

Despite Los Angeles’ woes, its superstar forward has been impressive. LeBron James, who turned 37 on Thursday, has averaged 28.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.
LeBron James is officially listed as probable for Friday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
James has been dealing with an abdominal issue and has been on the injury report for much of the season. With the Lakers already without Anthony Davis and needing a victory, it would be a surprise if James does not play.

The Lakers have had their troubles despite playing one of the NBA’s easier schedules so far. It seems improbable that Los Angeles could catch the upper echelon of the West as the season unfolds.

The Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns, both 27-7, have been the NBA’s best all season. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz (25-9) and upstart Memphis Grizzlies (22-14) are close behind.

However, Los Angeles is squarely in a Western Conference scrum to make the eight-team playoffs. Only 1.5 games separate the fifth- and sixth-place teams (Denver and LA Clippers) from the seventh- , eighth- and ninth-place teams (LA Lakers, Dallas and Minnesota).

Although the Lakers have been brutal, there are still three-and-a-half months of basketball to play.

Including Friday night’s game against Portland, the Lakers face a number of opponents that could give Los Angeles a chance to win. The Portland game begins a five-game homestand.

Ahead are the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-18), Sacramento Kings (15-21), Atlanta Hawks (15-19) and Memphis. The Lakers then go on a two-game road trip to Sacramento on Jan. 12 and the Denver Nuggets (17-16) on Jan. 15.

Looming ahead, though, is a stretch from Jan. 21 through Feb. 3, when Los Angeles will be on the road for seven of eight games.
For James and the rest of the Lakers, the next few weeks present a crucial time to pick up some timely wins.

>> Is LeBron James playing tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers? | 2021-22 NBA season

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