KEY POINTS

  • LeBron James will miss the next two games to rest his sore ankle
  • James' absence compounds the Lakers' woes
  • Marc Gasol is not worried about his dwindling playing time

The Los Angeles Lakers have a rough road ahead as they try to wrap up their NBA regular-season assignments.

They have seven games left but are in a precarious stretch. However, they may need to go through that with LeBron James missing at least two games.

Per an update from Adrian Wojnarowski, the four-time NBA champion will miss the Lakers back-to-back assignments. This will be against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers as James tries to rest his ankle and preserve himself for the playoffs.

It will be interesting how the Lakers will fare against the Clippers and Blazers. Both teams are also trying to improve their current standing and maintain their momentum heading into the postseason wars.

But of the two, the Lakers’ game against the Blazers should be interesting.

Los Angeles is just a game behind Portland as of this writing although that could change in the coming days.

For the Lakers, the objective is to win as many games as they can in the homestretch. Losses could relegate them to the play-in tournament, something that Anthony Davis warned recently.

James missed the Lakers’ game against the Denver Nuggets but managed to come out with a win.

Davis starred in that game and will need to maintain that level of efficiency moving forward. But head coach Frank Vogel will also need to draw good performances from other members of the cast like Montrezl Harrell, Andre Drummond and Kyle Kuzma.

Dennis Schroder is another guy the Lakers can bank on, but the German guard will be missing some games as well due to health protocol issues.

In a related development, Marc Gasol responded to the lobby of Kuzma for him to get more playing time with the Lakers.

The 36-year-old responded by saying he is fine contributing in whatever capacity each time he is fielded.

As far as the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year is concerned, winning as a team is more important than individual performance at this point.

Marc Gasol #14,Kyle Kuzma #0,Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers Marc Gasol #14,Kyle Kuzma #0,Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers Photo: Getty Images | Elsa