The Lakers have been closely monitoring LeBron James’ ankle problem, known as left ankle peroneal tendinopathy, since before the All-Star break. As a result of this injury, James has missed several games and will not play Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks in a nationally televised game.

With a record of 39-32, the Lakers are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference and are in desperate need of wins to secure a playoff spot. They trail the eighth-seeded Phoenix Suns by 2.5 games (two in the loss column), but have already won the tiebreaker. To move up to the eighth seed, the Lakers need to win 7 of their last 11 games, while also hoping the Suns lose 6 or more games.

LeBron James remains a vital player for the Lakers, serving as the team’s energy barometer in his 21st NBA season at age 39. His performance greatly affects the team’s success, as they are much stronger when he plays at his best. Without him, more of the responsibility falls on Anthony Davis, as well as framers like D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie.

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By Samantha Johnson

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