LOS ANGELES — As the Lakers look ahead to their final two games of the regular season this weekend, coach Frank Vogel said, “I don’t know if it’s going to be possible,” when asked if he would have his full roster together on the court.
LeBron James, sidelined the past six games to continue to recover from a high ankle sprain, practiced Friday before the Lakers’ flight to Indianapolis, but Vogel said James is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against the Pacers.
“We want to see how he feels in response to today’s work, like always,” Vogel said, “but there’s a chance that he plays if things go well.”
Dennis Schroder, out the past seven games because of the league’s health and safety protocols, was cleared to return and is available to play against Indiana, but he did not participate in the group practice Friday, opting for individual work.
“We’ll make a decision tomorrow as to whether he’s able,” Vogel said.
On a positive note, Anthony Davis is listed as probable for the Pacers game, according to Vogel, even though he didn’t join in the group work either. Davis missed the Lakers’ 124-122 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday because of tightness in his groin.
“I feel fine. I feel great,” Davis said. “Went through some things during practice, not everything, but got some work going on, got some work in on the side. So felt great, felt great today.”
Los Angeles, on a three-game winning streak for the first time since mid-March, is currently the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. The Lakers can move up to No. 6, at worst, and avoid the play-in tournament if they finish 2-0 in Indiana on Saturday and New Orleans on Sunday and the Portland Trail Blazers lose to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
If the Lakers finish the season as No. 7, they will host a play-in tournament game against the No. 8 seed — which will be either the Golden State Warriors or Memphis Grizzlies — with the winner moving on to play the No. 2 team, currently the Phoenix Suns, in a first-round playoff series.
If the Lakers lose their first play-in game, they will host another play-in game against the winner of the 9-10 game, with a first-round berth against the No. 1 team, currently the Utah Jazz, on the line.
If Los Angeles goes 0-2 in the play-in tournament, the season is over.
“Anytime you’ve had guys that have been out for extended absences and they’re returning to play, it’s always going to be a little bit imperfect,” Vogel said. “So the more minutes you can get those guys the better off it’s going to be for us, in terms of the readjustment period. So if we’re able to do that, that would be great.”