LeBron James still a question, Nikola Jokic likely and more updates on Joel Embiid and Jrue Holiday

NBA superstar LeBron James could make his long-awaited comeback against the San Antonio Spurs tonight. He last played in the fourth quarter against the LA Clippers on November 9th.

The LA Lakers have officially listed “King James” as dodgy in San Antonio. Despite the questionable status, fans are excited for the return of the four-time NBA MVP after Chris Haynes announced his upcoming comeback.

my @NBAonTNT In-game report on when Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James (groin) intends to return to action. https://t.co/Ne9wjF9MQG

The Lakers are 3-2 and 3-3 overall in their last five games without James. James averaged 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals before picking up a strain on the left adductor suffered.

Darvin Ham initially replaced LeBron James with Wenyen Gabriel on the starting lineup, but has since given that role to Austin Reaves. Without James, Reaves has made a solid contribution to the Lakers with his underrated playmaking and heads-up play.

James’ absence has forced Anthony Davis to take on an even bigger role for the Lakers. AD has responded in a big way by posting MVP-like numbers. It remains to be seen whether Davis will continue to be as aggressive and dominant when “King James” is back on the floor.

Meanwhile, back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic is listed as likely against the LA Clippers tonight. The Serbian superstar has been battling left hip pain and will be closely monitored by Denver’s medical staff.

Ahead of the last two games, Jokic missed the previous four due to Covid-19. He didn’t take time to improve conditioning after meeting league health and safety protocols. That’s probably a big reason why his hips were sore.

Nikola Jokic was not discouraged after returning from Covid-19. He continues to be the lynchpin for everything the Denver Nuggets do on offense. Barring anything dramatic happening, Jokic should be available tonight.

Joel Embiid: left metatarsal sprain; Injured since November 19, 2022

Joel Embiid will miss his third straight game with a left metatarsal sprain.
Joel Embiid will miss his third straight game with a left metatarsal sprain.

Joel Embiid was reportedly scheduled to miss just two games after injuring his foot against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 19. However, the Philadelphia 76ers have officially ruled him out for tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic.

Tonight is the third game in a row that one of the NBA’s most dominant players will be sidelined. Philly clearly wants to be overly cautious with Embiid, especially when it comes to foot injuries.

Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle are both listed for tomorrow’s game against the Magic.

Orlando will be without 2022 NBA draft pick Paolo Banchero. Without Banchero, the 76ers could be ready to give Embiid more time to recover.

Paul Reed and former NBA sixth man of the year winner Montrezl Harrell are expected to get more playing time without Joel Embiid.

Jrue Holiday: Non-Covid illness since November 23, 2022

Jrue Holiday tackles non-Covid related illnesses.
Jrue Holiday tackles non-Covid related illnesses.

Jrue Holiday is back on the Milwaukee Bucks injury report due to a non-Covid related illness. He played in the Bucks’ last two games but missed the previous four due to an ankle injury.

Milwaukee training staff will have ample time to review Holiday’s status during the shoot. Barring anything significant happening, he is expected to help Giannis Antetokounmpo carry the Bucks.

After an impressive 9-0 start to their NBA season, the Bucks have since plummeted to 3-8. A big part of the fight is the injuries to Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks also still don’t have Pat Connaughton, Joe Ingles and Khris Middleton.

Jrue Holiday (illness) listed as likely for Friday.

Antetokounmpo has been incredible almost every time he has played but will need help against the imposing front line of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. The Bucks will be in a better position to win with Jrue Holiday when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.

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Edited by Michael Macasero

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