Will LeBron James Play Sunday After Being Deemed Probable?

Sunday, March 24, 2019 1:38 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 24, 2019 1:38 PM UTC

The Lakers have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, which means that over their last 10 games they could be extremely cautious with their star players who have not yet been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Jordan’s NBA Picks: 41-25

Sacramento (36-36 SU & 42-28-3 ATS) at Lakers (31-41 SU & 27-44-1 ATS)

Sunday, 9:30 PM EST
Free NBA Pick: OVER 1H and Full Game
Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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LeBron James took a small bump in Friday’s game, but he has been ruled probable and the future Hall of Famer told reported over the weekend that he intends to play. That hasn’t stopped the sportsbooks from being very cautious with any Lakers NBA Odds.

Phantom Injury Or Outright Rest?

The NBA playoffs and the NBA Finals will be without LeBron James for the first time in a decade. The last time the Finals featured a team without James was the 2010 championship series where Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol won their second straight championship in seven games over Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics.

The playoffs have had James in it since 2005, so if all of this is making you feel old, you’re not alone. My point in all of this is the Lakers have a unique couple of decisions ahead of them.

On one hand they could let James play out the final 10 games of the season minus two games on no rest that he will almost certainly sit out. They could just limit his minutes and pray that he doesn’t suffer any injuries.

However, that would be the dumb move. Not to say Magic Johnson, Luke Walton, and company haven’t made plenty of dumb moves all throughout the season, but playing James in meaningless games would be the worst thing they have ever done. If James got hurt enough to put 2019-20 into jeopardy, they would never hear the end of it.

Their second option would be to make up some phantom injury for James. This likely won’t fly either because everyone will see right through it and the media will pile on the Lakers and James almost as much if he were to get hurt in a meaningless game,

Therefore, the only option here is to outright sit James down. I don’t think this will happen immediately, but it’s coming. Whether it starts for this game or down the road, James will eventually get shut down. While people will give them crap for it, it’s the best worst option available to them for the final 10 games of this horrible season.

The Lakers have plenty of money to eat the fines they’ll receive from the league. They don’t have to play around like the Pelicans are doing with Anthony Davis right now. If I’m Magic Johnson I would come out and announce that James is done for the season.

The Sharp Pick

However, I don’t trust Johnson to make the right call here and I definitely don’t trust James, who will want to keep his legacy intact after Kobe Bryant came out a few days ago and told reporters he would never rest in that situation.

That was essentially a shot at James, so considering this is a home game, I see James suiting up for it after being ruled probable.

The issue with that is the Lakers are still bad. The good news is though that they are meeting a team coming off a game on Saturday, which should help their chances here.

With that in mind, the over might be the play here. These two teams play at lightning fast paces and with the Kings tired, that could help the Lakers on offense. Sacramento has a pretty poor defense, especially in the first halves of their games. With that in mind, I’m going with the over on both the first half and the full game.

Final Score Prediction: Kings 115 – Lakers 117

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