We are coming down to crunch time in the 2021 NBA season, with just 2 weeks left to play before we get to the play-in tournament and the playoffs proper. A few teams have already clinched their spots in the postseason, but the battle for seeding is one that is likely to go all the way down to the wire. Teams are hoping that they can get to the end of the season unscathed, but we are already seeing injuries become an issue. That is what we are going to talk about first in our news and rumors roundup this week, but we have other items to address, too. Let’s get right to it so you can continue betting against their NBA odds.
2021 NBA Betting News & Rumors May 4th Edition
The big story today is that LeBron James is back on the sideline after feeling pain in the ankle that kept him out of action for the past few weeks. This day off is seen more as a chance for James to rest as opposed to a setback, but it still has to be troubling for a Lakers team that is sliding perilously close to the play-in spots. Speaking of which, James has been rather vocal in his dislike for the new format, although you do have to wonder how much of that comes from his frustration at being injured.
Things are going from bad to worse for the defending champions, as they are now going to also be without the services of Dennis Schroder for 10-14 days. While it has not been confirmed that Schroder tested positive for COVID-19, the timeline does fall in line with what players entering the protocol are asked to do in the event of a positive result. Given the timing of the announcement, it is likely that Schroder will likely now be out until the end of the regular season, with the final game set to go on May 16. This is certainly a troubling time for the Lakers.
While we have a player going out through COVID protocols, we have a coach set to return later this week. Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford has been forced to stay at home for over a week now, but he looks set to return to his team in time for their Wednesday night game versus the Boston Celtics. It was April 24 when we first heard that Clifford had tested positive, but he had also just received his second vaccination shot and experienced no symptoms. Symptoms or not, Clifford still had to follow league protocols, and while some thought he might be back Monday, he will need to wait just a little longer.
Once the season ends, we will once again see players move on from their current teams in the offseason. It’s always tough to predict where players will land, but if Kevin Love has his way, he would like to end up in Portland, the place that he still refers to as home. The rumor is that the Trail Blazers had tried to land him earlier this season, but they and the Cavaliers could not agree on a deal. That is likely to be addressed again this offseason, and after a recent appearance on a sports podcast, Love has made it clear that he would love to play alongside Damian Lillard.
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