The New York Knicks are coming off a phenomenal victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, but their streak of tough opponents does not end there. New York is gearing up to take on the Lakers on Tuesday evening, a team that is fighting to stay within automatic playoff contention. Currently, they’re in the 7th seed, which lies in the play-in category, just one game out of the 6th behind the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers are looking to extract a win over New York to help their playoff chances, but the Knicks won’t go silently into the night. However, LA is preparing to welcome LeBron James back, the consensus best player in the NBA and one of the best players to ever live. His presence alone will command attention from a tough Tom Thibodeau team that relies on aggressive defense to get the job done.
They most recently overcame a Clippers team composed of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley, and DeMarcus Cousins. Considering they are the 3rd seed in a competitive Western Conference, the Knicks should have a slight advantage over the Lakers, even if James is on the floor.
Much more optimism on state of LeBron James’ right ankle after on-court work Sunday and Monday, sources tell ESPN. James was pain-free after several days off – and able to make hard cuts and elevate. Return on Tuesday vs. Knicks is likely. https://t.co/UTXIC1V0Vh
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 10, 2021
Lakers star big man Anthony Davis was quite confident that LeBron would make a return against the Knicks, instilling confidence in the media that he has done this before.
LeBron’s coach was equally as confident, enamored by his professionalism and ability to prepare his body for a full workload.
“What I seen from LeBron today, he’ll be fine,” Anthony Davis said. “Trust me. He’ll be fine. He’s been in this league long enough to be able to come back and lock in and do what he gotta do to help the team.”
Vogel will have to limit LeBron’s minutes, but they desperately need his presence to help them snag the 6th seed, so defeating the Knicks is a priority. Hopefully, both Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks will be back and ready to contribute, despite New York proving they can win without two of their prolific scorers.
“He looks good in his workouts,” Frank Vogel said. “Obviously, there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period with him, in terms of him getting his rhythm and timing back. Hopefully, we have enough time for that to pick up very quickly. I’ve tended to learn to have confidence in LeBron James in situations like that.”