LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dennis Schroder to Return for Lakers vs. Pacers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James dribble the ball during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, April 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder will play for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, according to Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet.

LeBron has missed each of the past six games and 26 of the past 28 while recovering from a high right ankle sprain. Schroder has missed seven games in a row because of health and safety protocols.

Davis missed the Lakers' last game against the Houston Rockets with an adductor injury, but Trudell noted Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Davis was held out since it was the second game of a back-to-back more so than because of injury.

The Lakers have been ravaged by injuries this season. James and Davis are at the top of that list, having missed 27 and 36 games.

Injuries to their top two players is the biggest reason why L.A. is seventh in the Western Conference with a record of 40-30.

That normally wouldn't be a big issue since a healthy Lakers team can conceivably beat anyone in the playoffs, but this year the teams seeded seventh through 10th in each conference must compete in a play-in tournament to reach the playoffs.

The Lakers trail the Portland Trail Blazers by a half-game for the sixth seed, and securing it would allow L.A. to avoid that hurdle.

But the Lakers need to win Saturday against the Pacers and Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans, while the Blazers must lose Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.

With James, Davis and Schroder in the lineup Saturday, it is plausible that the defending NBA champions could win out and avoid the threat of getting knocked out in the play-in tourney.