NBA news for Wednesday morning, includes LeBron James needing to miss more time, the Nets suddenly look vulnerable, Tyrese Haliburton is out for the year and Damian Lillard is big mad.
The NBA season is in the homestretch of the regular season and playoff positioning is heating up, especially in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Lakers reeling, having lost seven of their last 10 games.
For the Lakers, there isn’t any good news on the horizon either.
Let’s go across the NBA for the latest NBA news and headlines you need to know ahead of Wednesday’s action.
NBA news: LeBron James may need a lot more time off
Maybe LeBron James came back too soon from his right ankle sprain? LeBron is going to miss the next two games as the Lakers star rests his ankle. There’s a possibility it may need to miss much more than just these two games.
With the Lakers holding a one-game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers for the play-in tournament, the more time LeBron misses, the greater the likelihood the reigning champions will be in the new play-in tournament that LeBron despises. The smartest play may be to sit LeBron for the rest of the regular season so his ankle is as close to 100 percent when the postseason begins.
Whether it’s the play-in or the traditional playoffs, the Lakers aren’t going anywhere if LeBron is not playing like LeBron.
NBA news: Pacers might be ready to fire their brand new head coach
The Indiana Pacers may have deep regrets about moving on from Nate McMillan and hiring Nate Bjorkgren. The first-year coach may be one-and-done barring some breakthroughs on and off the court. The Pacers are 30-34 and hold a four-game lead on the final spot in the play-in tournament in the East.
Beyond the poor record, Adrian Wojnarowski reports there are some fractured relationships that need mending and he’s been unwilling to make any sort of concessions or compromises to develop a working relationship with his star players. It’s a players league so this is a quick way to find yourself in the unemployment line.
NBA news: Are the Bucks the biggest challenger to the Nets in the East?
For the second time in three days, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets. While the Nets got 70 combined points from Kevin Durant (32) and Kyrie Irving (38) the loss of James Harden is clearly affecting the Nets. The Bucks provided too much depth and too many issues for the Nets defense to contain. It’s not just Giannis Antetokounmpo doing the damage either. The Greek Freak had 36 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the win on Tuesday night, but he had plenty of help from Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Bryn Forbes and Donte DiVincenzo that made the difference.
When the Nets get Harden back, they will assume their status as the top team in the East but the Bucks won’t be intimidated and will have the confidence from these two wins if they meet in the playoffs. What once looked like a foregone conclusion that the Nets would walk to the NBA Finals, the Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers look like formidable challengers.
NBA news: Tyrese Haliburton is likely done for the season
The Sacramento Kings will be without Tyrese Haliburton for the remainder of the season. The Kings guard avoided any ligament damage to his injured knee and will not need surgery, but he is unlikely to play again this season. It’s not like the Kings are chasing a playoff spot anyway so there is no sense in rushing Haliburton back from the injury to chase down a spot in the play-in tournament. The rookie is averaging 13 points per game and is a building block for the future.
NBA news: Damian Lillard is big mad the Blazers still don’t have fans in the arena
As more and more teams slowly being letting fans in arenas across the NBA, the Trail Blazers are keeping their doors closed to the dismay of their biggest attraction. Damian Lillard isn’t happy with the decision to keep fans from attending home games and he voiced his displeasure with a matter-of-fact tweet.
But, beginning on May 7, a limited number of fans will be allowed in the arena, which should make Lillard happy to have his fans cheering him on again.