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LeBron Rips Play-In Format As Struggling Lakers Slide

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Toronto Raptors Sunday has placed them in a precarious position, one which LeBron James is none too pleased with.

LeBron James
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers scores a basket against Stanley Johnson #5 of the Toronto Raptors during the first half at Staples Center on May 2, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Lakers third straight loss, and seventh in their past 10 games, dropped them into a three-way tie for seventh place with the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers in the competitive Western Conference.

If the Lakers were to finish the season seventh or worse, they would be forced to take part in the NBA's Play-In Tournament in order to get into the playoffs.

With only eight games left in the regular season, James Sunday took aim at the play-in format.

"Whoever came up with that s--- needs to be fired," he said, according to The Athletic's Bill Oram.

James who just recently returned from a 20-game absence for a sprained right ankle, was forced again from Sunday's game midway through the fourth quarter for soreness in the same ankle.

The Lakers also could be without the services of starting point guard Dennis Schroeder for up to two weeks because of coronavirus health and safety protocols, The Athletic reported Monday.

The Lakers have brutal four-game stretch coming up, starting tonight with a matchup against the Denver Nuggets. They then take on the Clippers, Blazers and Phoenix Suns.

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