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Tuchel sees PSG defender as a replacement for Rüdiger at Chelsea

Tuchel was PSG boss from July 2018 to December 2020 before joining Chelsea earlier this year. (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaChelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is reportedly interested in replacing Antonio Rudiger with Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe. Rüdiger left the contract at the end of the season and is officially allowed to sign a preliminary contract with potential foreign applicants in January. Rüdiger is believed to have "turned down Chelsea's opening offer of £ 140,000 a week and is likely to want to get closer to £ 200,000 a week," with the German believing that he is at "a level similar to the club's top earners " should be. With a new deal looking unlikely, Tuchel is looking for potential successors and plans to bring Kimpembe to Stamford Bridge, according to L'Equipe (via The Sun). The German worked with Kimpembe during his time as PSG boss and the French international is reportedly keen to see him again at Chelsea. The 26-year-old is under contract at Parc des Princes until 2024 and has been with his current club four times in Ligue 1 since he was 10. In addition to Rüdiger; Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all without a contract at the end of the season. Talks with Christensen have reportedly stalled after positive talks, while Silva is likely to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge. Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing the versatile defender. The Spaniard is reportedly interested in renewing his contract, but The Athletic claim he wants more than a one-year deal. The Blues don't offer long-term contracts to players over 30, which could be a stumbling block for Azpilicueta despite his strong relationship with the club. He has won seven trophies with the Londoners, including two Premier League titles and a Champions League, and is close to his 450th appearance for Chelsea.

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Icardi saves a point for 10-man PSG in Lorient

Mauro Icardi's stoppage-time goal helped ten-man Paris St. Germain save a lucky 1-1 draw with Lorient in a grim performance by the Ligue 1 leaders on Wednesday. (Author: Gardener)

IcardiPARIS, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Mauro Icardi's added-time hit helped ten-man Paris St. Germain save a lucky 1-1 draw with Lorient in a grim performance by the Ligue 1 leaders on Wednesday. Mauricio Pochettino's side, who sent Sergio Ramos off, have 46 points from 19 games, Nice are in second place 13 points behind after a 2-1 comeback win at home against RC Lens. The third-placed Olympique de Marseille, who has a game in hand, is behind Nice due to the goal difference after being caught off guard in the Velodrome in a 1-1 draw against Stade de Reims. Dimitri Payet saved a point with a penalty eight minutes after stoppage time. Stade Rennais are fourth with 31 points after their 2-1 defeat in Monaco. Montpellier cemented their fifth place with a convincing 4-1 home win over midfielder Angers and champions Lille moved up to eighth when Jonathan David's late goal led to a 3-2 win at Girondins de Bordeaux. Lorient's Thomas Monconduit opened the goal against PSG with a great, slightly blocked shot that went into the top corner five minutes before half-time. Ramos, who replaced Nuno Mendes at halftime, was sent off five minutes from the end of the pitch after receiving two yellow cards one night for the capital until Icardi headed in after a cross from Achraf Hakimi two minutes after stoppage time Beheaded home. The result left Lorient second with 16 points, four ahead of St. Etienne, who were beaten 0-1 at home by Nantes.

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Fans make fun of Sergio Ramos after receiving a red card for PSG in Lorient

The former Real Madrid star, who joined the Ligue 1 giants in the summer, was only brought on in the second half of the 1-1 draw from Mauricio Pochettino in Lorient. (Author: Gardener)

LorientSocial media fans have mocked Sergio Ramos after being sent off for the 27th time in his club career in only his third game for Paris Saint-Germain. The former Real Madrid star, who joined the Ligue 1 giants in the summer, came in the second half of Mauricio Pochettino's 1-1 draw in Lorient. Sergio Ramos was sent off! The 27th red card of his professional career - football at BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 22nd, 2021 But fans on Twitter didn't let the incident pass without making fun of the Spanish defender with a tweet: “Sergio Ramos and reds Cards. Others tweeted in a similar fashion, with a post: "Sergio Ramos and red card, name a better duo I'd wait," while another added, "If they build the Sergio Ramos statue it should either be him, who mocks a fallen striker. " or he was disgusted with being carded. ' Sergio Ramos and Rote Karte, name a better duo that I would wait for. - Damn Sexy 🇬🇭🇳🇬🇯🇲 (@Bra_Abele) December 22, 2021 If they build the Sergio Ramos statue, it should either be him taunting a fallen striker or disgusted that he was carded.— Zito (@_Zeets) December 22nd, 2021 Others seemed excited about his sacking, with another tweet: "Sergio Ramos was sent off for PSG for the first time! Another jokingly added: "Sergio Ramos got back today ... King of the red cards my goat", while another said: "It's in Sergio Ramos' DNA". However, it was Ramos' first red card for the French capital. His previous 26 all came during his 16-year stint in Madrid, but he is now just behind ex-Colombia star Gerardo Bedoya, who has been sent off 46 times. But Pochettino's team were able to save something in the game, Mauro Icardi equalized in the first minute of stoppage time after Thomas Monconduit gave Lorient the lead. It's in Sergio Ramos' DNA pic.twitter.com/jqGJNoOU6Y— 𝕽𝖔𝖓𝖆𝖑𝖉𝖔𝕲.𝕺.𝕬.𝕿🐐𝕱𝖆𝖈𝖙𝖔𝖘👍👀SAW NWH (@ Rm_Ronaldo75) December 23, 2021 RED CARD: Sergio Ramos was first sent off for PSG! 🟥 He's really BACK! - Football tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) December 22, 2021 Sergio Ramos did again today ... King of the red cards 😂 my goat 🐐— Highest Majesty (Coolest Boy) 🦅 (@kwaku_majesty_) December 22, 2021

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PSG vs. Lorient odds, tips and predictions

Analysis of the odds and lines of PSG against Lorient on Wednesday, with Ligue 1 tips and predictions. (Author: Gardener)

LorientOn Wednesday PSG (14 wins, 1 loss, 3 draws) travel to the Stade du Moustoir against Lorient (3-9-6). Lorient odds and lines and make our best Ligue 1 bets, tips and predictions. PSG were able to return to winning ways after two draws in Ligue 1 after a defeat by F Neymar for up to eight weeks at the end of November last time. PSG have scored 38 goals and given up 16 in 18 games. Key D Sergio Ramos could take another break as he is fit again. Lorient has struggled this season and is currently in 19th place. Les Merius have scored 14 goals and given up 30 to 18 games. F. Armand Lauriente, 23, is the key player on Wednesday leading the team with 4 goals. Tipico Sportsbook odds; Access USA TODAY Sports betting odds for a complete list. PSG -220 (bet $ 220 to win $ 100) | Lorient +570 (bet $ 570 to win $ 100) | Draw +370 PLAY: Our new free daily Pick'em Challenge and win! "LEAN" to PSG (-220). PSG are on the way, which is helping to upgrade their moneyline odds, but it's 6-1-2 away and has two of the best strikers in the world who would devastate a vulnerable backline - a backline that scores the fifth most goals in Ligue 1 With the depth in all positions, I would be satisfied with the team that is currently at the top of the table. PSG are 2-0-0 against the other two teams in the bottom three of the table and should win relatively easily. BET on OVER 3.5 (+155) as the best value here. PSG have a dynamite attack and F Lionel Messi should be able to break a weak defense. Lorient have conceded two or more goals in three of the last four league games and are disappointedly beaten 1: 4 against 18th placed Metz. Combine Lorient's poor defense with PSG's deadly attack and PSG's lack of defense with Lorient's reasonably skilled attack and you get a game that should have lots of goals, especially when Ramos is seated. If you're looking for more sports betting tips and tips, access all of our content on SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please play responsibly. Follow @SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for referring viewers to betting services. Tipico has no influence on this income and is in no way dependent on or connected to the newsrooms or reporting. General terms and conditions can be found on Tipico.com. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

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Messi fires empty-handed, Ramos sees the red card in PSG's late 1-1 draw against relegation-threatened Lorient

Ligue 1 2021-22: Lionel Messi shot empty, Ramos saw the red card when leaders PSG agreed on a draw through Mauro Icardi's post-leg goal against relegation-struggling FC Lorient. (Author: Gardener)

PSGLionel Messi shot empty, Ramos saw a red card when Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint Germain agreed on a draw against relegation fighter FC Lorient on Wednesday evening with Mauro Icardi's goal in stoppage time. In the draw, PSG lead second-placed Nice and third-placed Marseille with 13 points. Nice beat Lens 2-1, while Marseille needed an even later goal than PSG to make it 1-1 at home against Reims in stoppage time. Nice and Marseille are separated due to the goal difference. Ligue 1 2021-22: Messi, Mbappe in focus as PSG face third-placed Nice without Neymar. The team of coach Mauricio Pochettino was easily exposed by quick attacks and received a shocking 11 shots in the first half against a 19th place. Pochettino brought on ex-Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos after the break, but was sent off with a second yellow card five minutes from time. The 10-man PSG stormed forward, right-back Achraf Hakimi overplayed a great cross from the right and Icardi skilfully headed home in the first minute of stoppage time to compensate for Thomas Monconduit's thundering goal towards the end of the first half. Pochettino briefly stopped criticizing another sluggish performance as PSG were again saved by a late goal, as happened against Lens this month. Apart from an early miss by Icardi and a shot on the post by seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, PSG were on their backfoot as Lorient often got behind the defense in the first half. PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas made several stops, the most important of which was against striker Terem Moffi who could have shot powerfully after a clean run in Moffi 16, but switched feet to try to beat the hugely skilled Navas who stayed upright as long as possible to make a fine parade befitting his status as one of the best in the world. Moffi then teamed up with Enzo Le Fee to prepare Monconduit for a bubbly shot from 20 yards that hit Navas from the bottom of the bar. Navas was out just moments later to keep his team from conceding a second goal, and Paul Nardi made two Messi appearances. Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet was fouled and shot a penalty in the eighth minute of stoppage time after a lengthy video review after winger Hugo Ekitike gave Reims the lead in the 75th minute. Canada's striker Jonathan David scored the winning goal after defending champions Lille were twice behind before beating 3-2 in Bordeaux to move up to eighth place. Honduras striker Alberth Elis scored the goals from Bordeaux. Winger Martin Terrier continued his good form with a well-made start, but fourth-placed Rennes lost 2-1 at Sixth Monaco, who scored with Wissam Ben Yedder's penalty and Kevin Volland's second-half goal. Clever midfielder Teji Savanier scored the first goal as Montpellier moved up to fifth with a 4-1 home win over midfielder Angers. The league will resume on January 7th when Bordeaux face Marseille in a Friday night game.

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Front runner PSG failed in the late 1-1 draw before the winter break

PARIS (AP) - Runaway Paris Saint-Germain went into the winter break after narrowly avoiding a humiliating defeat when Mauro Icardi's goal saved a 1-1 draw in stoppage time at the ailing Lorient in the French league on Wednesday. (Author: Gardener)

winterPARIS (AP) - Runaway Paris Saint-Germain went into the winter break after narrowly avoiding a humiliating defeat when Mauro Icardi's goal saved a 1-1 draw in stoppage time in the ailing Lorient in the French league on Wednesday. PSG are 13 points ahead of second-placed Nice and third-placed Marseille. Nice beat Lens 2-1, while Marseille needed an even later goal than PSG to make it 1-1 at home against Reims in stoppage time. Nice and Marseille are separated due to the goal difference. The team of coach Mauricio Pochettino was easily exposed by quick attacks and received an alarming 11 shots in the first half against a team in 19th place. Pochettino brought on ex-Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos after the break, but was sent off with a second yellow card five minutes from time. The 10-man PSG stormed forward, right-back Achraf Hakimi covered a great cross from the right and Icardi skilfully headed home in the first minute of stoppage time to compensate for the thunderbolt from Thomas Monconduit towards the end of the first half. Pochettino briefly stopped criticizing another sluggish performance as PSG were again saved by a late goal, as happened against Lens this month. Apart from an early miss by Icardi and a shot on the post by seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, PSG were on their backfoot as Lorient often got behind the defense in the first half. PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas made several stops, the most important of which was against striker Terem Moffi who could have shot powerfully after a clean run in Moffi 16, but switched feet to try to beat the hugely skilled Navas who stayed upright as long as possible to make a fine parade befitting his status as one of the best in the world. Moffi then teamed up with Enzo Le Fee to prepare Monconduit for a bubbly shot from 20 yards that hit Navas from the bottom of the bar. Navas was out just moments later to keep his team from conceding a second goal, and Paul Nardi made two Messi appearances. Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet was fouled and shot a penalty in the eighth minute of stoppage time after a lengthy video review after winger Hugo Ekitike gave Reims the lead in the 75th minute. Canada's striker Jonathan David scored the winning goal after defending champions Lille were twice behind before beating 3-2 in Bordeaux to move up to eighth place. Honduras striker Alberth Elis scored the goals from Bordeaux. Winger Martin Terrier continued his good form with a well-made start, but fourth-placed Rennes lost 2-1 at Sixth Monaco, who scored with Wissam Ben Yedder's penalty and Kevin Volland's second-half goal. Clever midfielder Teji Savanier scored the first goal as Montpellier moved up to fifth with a 4-1 home win over midfielder Angers. The league will resume on January 7th when Bordeaux face Marseille in a Friday night game.

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2/10 Ramos sees red; Messi, Hakimi ...

Sergio Ramos received his first red card for Paris Saint-Germain when the Ligue 1 leaders drew 1-1 with Lorient on Wednesday. (Author: Gardener)

RamosParis Saint-Germain managed late to secure a 1-1 draw against Lorient on Wednesday. It was a disappointing end of 2021 for PSG, although Mauricio Pochettino's men were fortunate enough to keep their 13-point lead at the top of the table thanks to Marseille's tie with Reims. While Pochettino's men had no problems with possession, they simply lacked the X-Factor in the final third, largely due to the lack of a certain Kylian Mbappe. It ultimately led to a lack of clear scoring opportunities. For their opponents it was the opposite scenario as Lorient created several chances on the counterattack. Their quick breaks upset the PSG defenders to some extent, but a bad finish from Terem Moffi left the home team missing two golden opportunities. Nonetheless, Lorient made the well-deserved breakthrough in the 40th minute, thanks to a sweet goal from Thomas Monconduit. PSG pushed the men forward in search of equalization after the restart but were extremely wasteful in front of goal as both Georginio Wijnaldum and Angel Di Maria missed scoring opportunities. Until stoppage time, when an inspiring run by Achraf Hakimi led to a scoring opportunity for Mauro Icardi. The Argentine made no mistake in seizing the chance and thus securing a point for his team. Here at The Hard Tackle we will be running the rule over PSG players after their disappointing draw with Lorient. Keylor Navas was one of the few PSG players who managed to impress. The former Real Madrid goalkeeper remained vigilant throughout the game as Lorient exerted pressure from counterattacks and set pieces. He made a couple of excellent saves in the game, including the one Moffi made in the first half. That was until the last minutes of the game, when a hard run and a cross led to Icardi equalizing. The Brazilian didn't keep a close eye on Armand Lauriente, although his leadership and flying skills were crucial in preventing Lorient from scoring more goals behind Navas. Presnel Kimpembe started the game slowly as Terem Moffi often found it relatively easy to get behind the lines. He eventually grew into the game, helping PSG defend Lorient's counterattacks. It wasn't the best games for Nuno Mendes, who just couldn't enforce his dominance on the left side of the PSG defense, apart from a scoring opportunity for Mauro Icardi. Ander Herrera cashed in on the turnover that led to Lorient's kick-off. As a result, Lorient often played counter opportunities during the ninety minutes. Even in the middle third of the field he did not allow any creative essence, although PSG apparently missed the presence of a certain Marco Verratti. From a tactical point of view, the move worked well, but the player himself could not use his quality in the last third. He also lacked the confidence to use his scoring opportunities. The Argentina international was unable to cause the Lorient defenders any real problems other than occasional dribbles and passes behind the defense. Messi created a few scoring opportunities but struggled to find himself in front of one. Even so, he was the PSG attacker's choice. Lionel Messi successfully completed 11 dribbles against Lorient tonight - no other player in the top 5 European leagues has played more in a single league game this season. Angel Di Maria had a nightmare about a game as it did not pose any threat. In fact, Di Maria's presence was quite detrimental to PSG's chances as the former Manchester United star missed a scoring opportunity while conceding numerous ball losses in dangerous areas of the pitch. Mauro Icardi was pretty wasteful for much of the game in front of goal. The Argentine striker certainly impressed with his sense of positioning, but his lack of efficiency remains a problem for Pochettino, despite the fact that the Argentine took advantage of the late opportunity to score points for his side. Sergio Ramos replaced Mendes when PSG switched to a back three. But in only his second Ligue 1 appearance, the former Real Madrid captain received two yellow cards within five minutes, leading to his first sack in the PSG colors. Sergio Ramos gets his first red card for PSG 🟥 pic.twitter.com/HlIUoU5C0M Sekou Oumar Yansane didn't make much of a difference after joining Herrera in the closing stages of the game.

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Westbrook presses with exhausted Lakers

Reigning head coach David Fizdale said the Lakers don't need Westbrook to play the changing line-up hero. They just need a steady game from their point guard, he said. (Author: Gardener)

LakersThe Los Angeles Lakers have lost three games in a row, have four players and their head coach in the NBA's health and safety protocols, and are still reeling from news that Anthony Davis is expected to be absent for at least a month with a sprained MCL in his left knee . As the team struggles to weather the vortex of diseases it faces, former league MVP and nine-time all-star Russell Westbrook has taken it upon himself to try to pull them out of it. However, reigning head coach David Fizdale - who is representing Frank Vogel during his recovery from COVID-19 - said the Lakers don't need Westbrook to ride his white horse and play the hero. You just need a steady game from your point guard. "I think the circumstances of the last few games with so many people in and out made him save us," Fizdale said in a video conference call with reporters after training on Wednesday. While Westbrook has averaged 21 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.0 steals in the two games since Davis was injured, he's also had 6.5 turnovers. The ball losses trip the Lakers on both sides, take potential scoring chances on the offensive and put their defense in compromising positions while the opponent attacks in transition. "On some of his pieces, he probably moved too fast or tried to put pressure on when things aren't there," said Fizdale. The guys are very open and receptive and we were just talking about connection things. How can we [get this right?] OK, instead of this game, what can we do within our offensive fundamentals to result in a great shot for us? How do we use your talent that attracts all of these players to make sure this results in a great shot for us? "And that's what the whole film session was about offensively and again a lot of this stuff is connection." Lakers striker Trevor Ariza said Wednesday's video recap was helpful as L.A. tries to correct the wrongs of its last three losses to Minnesota, Chicago and Phoenix in preparation for Thursday's home game against the San Antonio Spurs. "Personally, I just see my distance and things that I can do better, to give our guys more space to help them. Defensively, I have to change some of my techniques, my angles, to get it right, so that I can do a little bit better can be on the defensive end, "said Ariza in a videoconference when asked about the details pointed out in the film. We need that because we don't have a lot of training time. ”And the Lakers don't have much certainty about how the season will go from here. "You just take it and live from day to day, you just don't know what's going to happen," said Carmelo Anthony in a video conference on Wednesday. Again, we don't know what's going to happen, so we take it day to day and just try to keep track of what we need to keep track of. It affects a lot of different people, people who are vaccinated, people who have boosters, so you just don't know what's going to happen. "

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In Lionel Messi's fights as PSG because of parties and division of the squad

Paris Saint-Germain's results on the pitch have been strong since Lionel Messi's arrival, but performances remain a big problem given the dissatisfaction behind the scenes (Author: Gardener)

LionelParis Saint-Germain results on the pitch have been strong since Lionel Messi's arrival, but performances remain a big problem with behind-the-scenes dissatisfaction Paris Saint-Germain has likely always been the focus of attention this season after their incredible summer transfer window including the arrival of Lionel Messi. Despite PSG sporting director Leonardo praising his influence in the French capital this season, Messi was banned from the Ligue 1 team of the season due to a disappointing four-month opening in the French capital. The Argentine superstar found it difficult to get used to French football in the first half of the season after his top-class summer transfer from Barcelona. Details of what is going on behind the scenes at Parc des Princes are now emerging, with divisions in the squad and silent concerns about the Argentine - along with several of his teammates - now growing among club officials. Lionel Messi has only scored one goal for his new club in Ligue 1 so far. PSG then confirmed that the two had missed training the following day due to illness after partying - an important preparatory session for their Ligue 1 clash against Nice, in which the players were below average and drew 0-0. That was a high-profile episode, but many in the club are said to be uneasy about the lack of discipline within the team and how often they celebrate without repercussions from the club. Paris is, of course, a city that attracts the rich and famous with its dizzying nightlife, but a lack of discipline is one aspect for which PSG as a club has been criticized in recent years. According to a detailed report by L’Equipe, PSG sporting director Leonardo Neymar has not disciplined Neymar for his nightlife - which resulted in him missing a scheduled appointment with the club's sponsors. It is claimed that Neymar should be disciplined by the club but the fear of bad press acted as a deterrent which led to anger among other players and officials. Dissatisfaction is expected to grow that a number of star players are privileged in the club - who are supposed to protect them publicly and, because of their inaction, encourage such behavior. In the locker room there is said to be a South American clique - led by Neymar and Messi, but which includes Paredes, Marquinhos, Rafinha and Angel di Maria, while there is a separate group of French-speaking players. The latter are said to be listed in the service of Achraf Hakimi along with Kylian Mbappe, who is reportedly less closely related to the South American group than in previous seasons. Mauro Icardi is also said to be a cause for concern after rowing publicly with wife Wanda Nara in the club's parking lot before missing several training sessions to cement his relationship - despite not filing an application to the club. Another new signing, Sergio Ramos, is not supposed to believe that meals between players are not mandatory at the club's facilities - he believes it has been fundamental to success at Real Madrid and with the Spanish national team. The situation on the pitch does not seem to be sustainable or conducive to success, although PSG enjoys a double-digit point lead at the top of Ligue 1 and is sure to make it to the last sixteen of the Champions League.

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Uncertainty is clouding the Lakers' near future and has had an impact on their game

The team have used smaller lineups out of necessity, but the lack of familiarity between some players is evident and others may push themselves to make mistakes. (Author: Gardener)

It's the old adage: one game at a time. The Lakers are stuck in a three game slide, narrowing their leeway to what is directly in front of them. That's because with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the NBA and the league, who knows what's behind it today. The Lakers met on Wednesday to review the movie of Tuesday's loss to the Phoenix Suns and reportedly to prepare for Thursday's game against San Antonio. In their own meeting, they were missing four players (Malik Monk, Avery Bradley, Austin Reaves, and Kent Bazemore), head coach Frank Vogel, and a number of other staff who usually contribute to the meetings. Their Christmas game against the Brooklyn Nets, long considered one of the NBA's regular season banner matches, is in serious jeopardy after the league postponed the Nets' third game in a row. "You take it easy and live by the day, you just don't know what's going to happen," said striker Carmelo Anthony. The NBA has shown its determination to push through this latest surge in positive coronavirus tests, which in December alone (more than 120) dwarfed the total number of players and staff who recorded all of last season's logs. The league has made provisions for teams with significant numbers of staff in protocols like the Lakers, allowing 10-day hardship contracts and an extended period for two-way contract players. The Lakers have apparently stabilized in their roster with no new player cases as of Sunday morning but there is no way to plan when the four players who are still in the logs will be tested. Vogel is also concerned with this question. Interim trainer David Fizdale sends his coaching insights from a distance via Zoom and SMS. Fizdale admitted that he isn't sure whether or not he will lead the Lakers against the Spurs; it depends on how Vogel's tests go. “It's an everyday situation and we won't let ourselves into how unhappy it all is or how disruptive it all is. The team chose smaller lineups out of necessity and played more minutes with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza in the middle or in power forward. While center Dwight Howard was technically available on Tuesday night, the Lakers decided to give him a few more days to physically prepare after being banned from the previous week's logs. When Anthony was thrown out on his second technical on Tuesday night, he admitted that he had lost consciousness after feeling an elbow against his ribs while attempting a shot. Although, countered Anthony, maybe there are times the Lakers will need that spark. "The only thing I have is that I let the boys down, I let the team down because I don't, I get kicked out and get into situations like this," he said. Maybe we need that, that kind of fire. We need that kind of energy. I miss this game. ”The decreased depth also changes the way some of the sane Lakers approach the game. Talen Horton-Tucker and Isaiah Thomas won't get together often to go 2 for 24 (0 for 14 from the 3 point range) like they did against Phoenix, but some players inevitably feel under pressure to put more on their shoulders to get the team out of the crisis. This could have been a factor for Russell Westbrook, who had seven in-game sales, including several at the end of the third quarter that put the Suns into a double-digit lead. During the team's film review, Fizdale said there were several clips of Westbrook taking on too much of the burden. "I think the circumstances of the last few games with so many people going in and out made him feel like he had to save us," he said. But mistakes happen when a new group comes together, and while James and Westbrook are still around, the Lakers five-man lineups haven't been spending much time together lately. DeAndre Jordan and Rajon Rondo were recently dusted off the bench, Ariza has just returned from a pre-season injury and Thomas was eliminated from the NBA just a week ago. There's still little cohesion for the Lakers - that has been the case for most of the season, but with more than a third of the schedule in the hunt for playoff positioning, that starts to hurt their bottom line. You could mess it up even more in the days ahead. Fizdale said against the Suns that he was wrong on the side of trusted veterans. But the Lakers also feel they lack the youthful energy they rely on from Austin Reaves and Malik Monk - they could replace that with recent additions Mason Jones and Jemerrio Jones if they feel the need to be shot in the arm. "That's an important part of our roster and you can see when we don't have it," said Fizdale. It's clear we miss it. ”LeBron James can't do it alone as Lakers fall on the Suns Lakers weekly reset: The hits just keep coming There is very little that feels safe in the days to come. ESPN reported that its network, which broadcasts all games on Christmas Day, could potentially reschedule schedules even on December 24th, meaning the Lakers could tip a different time than expected. At the moment, the Nets All-Stars Kevin Durant, James Harden or Kyrie Irving all have their log system - even when the game is running, the star power that the matchup once promised is significantly dampened. Ariza admitted that it was "unfortunate" that the NBA had to contend with so close a banner air day - a day that many players normally look forward to - so close with so much movement. But at 36 he learned to appreciate every moment on the pitch, even the one that doesn't live up to expectations. "You don't know how many games you're going to play, especially at the age we're on our team," he said. So whoever is on the pitch, it's something special. "

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