LeBron James out Thursday night vs. 76ers due to knee soreness

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With Anthony Davis back in the fold, the Lakers are now trying to make up for lost time and let LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Davis build up some chemistry — they have played together in just 11 games this season due to injuries and COVID.

That chemistry is not growing Thursday night in Philadelphia. Lakers coach Frank Vogel announced pregame that LeBron James is out due to knee soreness.

LeBron is not happy about it.

LeBron is playing at an MVP level this season and, more concerning for Lakers fans, Los Angeles has a -2 net rating when LeBron is off the court this season — and it’s worse, -6.3, when Davis and Westbrook are on the court without LeBron. Add to that they are playing one of the hottest teams in the NBA in Philly, winners of 12 of their last 15.

Will Vogel go big with Dwight Howard starting in LeBron’s place, giving the Lakers someone to match up against the red-hot Joel Embiid? Or, do they stay small and Vogel bets on Malik Monk or someone else.