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Lakers’ LeBron James says whoever got here up with the play-in match ‘must be fired’

The Los Angeles Lakers misplaced their third straight sport on Sunday, falling to the Toronto Raptors, 121-114. Consequently, they’re now in a three-way tie with the Mavericks and Path Blazers, which places them in critical jeopardy of winding up within the play-in match. And if all that wasn’t unhealthy sufficient, LeBron James left the sport early with ankle soreness.

This was simply the second sport again for LeBron, who had missed over a month with a excessive ankle sprain. He completed with 19 factors, seven rebounds and 6 assists in 28 minutes, and did not go away for good till the Lakers had been down double digits late within the fourth quarter, so it is protected to imagine this was precautionary. 

However whereas LeBron’s ankle may not be a serious concern shifting ahead, the Lakers do have lots to fret about with reference to their place within the standings. They clearly aren’t joyful about that, and LeBron made his emotions identified loud and clear when chatting with the media.  

“Whoever got here up with that s— must be fired,” LeBron said of the play-in tournament

Now 36-28 after the loss to the Raptors, the Lakers have the identical report because the Mavericks and Path Blazers. Given how the standings are shaking out, these three groups are going to complete fifth, sixth and seventh in some order, which suggests one in all them will probably be going to the play-in match.

For the second, the Lakers are in sixth place, owing to the truth that they’ve misplaced the season sequence and the tiebreaker with the Mavericks, however tenuously maintain the tiebreaker over the Path Blazers primarily based on convention report. The Lakers nonetheless have one sport left with the Blazers, nonetheless, and it’ll decide the season sequence between the 2 groups. 

In fact, it is unlikely all of them finish the common season with the identical report, but when the Lakers lose that sport in opposition to the Blazers they will have to complete above each groups to keep away from dropping to seventh. For now, nonetheless, it is not likely price diving into each situation when there’s nonetheless eight video games left to play. 

As for LeBron’s emotions on the play-in match, he is not the one star on this group of groups to specific issues. Luka Doncic questioned the thought final month, saying “I do not perceive the thought… You play 72 video games to get within the playoffs, then perhaps you lose two in a row and also you’re out of the playoffs. I do not see the purpose of that.”

Whereas it’d sound a bit like bitter grapes for these gamers to be complaining about one thing as soon as they is likely to be concerned, LeBron, to his credit score, has been outspoken concerning the concept for years. Again in 2018, when a play-in match was first proposed, LeBron was equally important. 

“That is wack,” LeBron mentioned of the play-in match. “You have to earn your spot to be within the postseason. No comfort for ending final. That is corny.”

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