LeBron James will reportedly be placed on a minutes restriction of 28-32 minutes per game for the remainder of this season and could possibly be rested during the Lakers' remaining back-to-back sets, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.
Per Haynes, a conversation was held between James, his trainer and the Lakers front office, and it was determined James would be placed on restriction. Los Angeles will decide if James plays during the front and backend of its three remaining back-to-back sets by assessing how he feels.
Following Wednesday night's defeat to the Nuggets, the Lakers dropped to 30–35 and fell six games behind the eighth-place Clippers with 17 games remaining. Los Angeles is 10th in the Western Conference standings.
James's personal streak of eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances is in jeopardy, in addition to his run of 13 straight postseason appearances. The 15-time All-Star has missed the playoffs only twice in his NBA career in each of his first two seasons.
Entering the season, James had never played fewer than 69 regular-season games in a full NBA campaign. (He played in 62 during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season.) He will fall short of that mark this year, having appeared in 47 games so far.
James suffered a groin injury on Christmas Day against the Warriors that kept him out for 17 straight games, marking the longest injury stint of his career.
This season, James has averaged 27.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists in 35.6 minutes per game.