The Lakers andtheir Orlando seeding games are off to a rough start as they look to shore up their chemistry and shot-making ahead of what they hope will be a deep playoff run. The 2-2 Lakers will be without LeBron James on Thursday as they take on the Rockets after a 19-point loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
James is apparently struggling with groin soreness, something Lakers head coach Frank Vogel mentioned after the loss to the Thunder.
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.