As the regular season comes to an end, the Lakers star is forced to sit out a handful of games due to his injury.
During your Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, All-Star forward LeBron James injured his right foot during the third quarter. The 38-year-old vet decided to play through the remainder of the game to help secure the Lakers 111-108 victory, but it came with some consequences. Following the Lakers win, sources confirmed that James will now be missing multiple weeks due to his injury.
NBA insiders Shams Charania and Jovan Buha detailed an article that addressed how LeBron’s injury will impact the team. The Lakers are currently in the 12th seed of the Western Conference. During All-Star break, James voiced himself that this last part of the season represented the 23 most important games of his career. With his injury, James has no choice but to sit out a good amount of those 23 games.
“Anthony Davis has proven he can handle an MVP-caliber workload, and D’Angelo Russell can withstand a larger offensive role based on his track record in Brooklyn and Minnesota. But there is no replacing James’ All-NBA-level play this season.”
“He remains a top-10 player, and a team that was just hitting its stride, winning four of five games with its new group, can’t survive his absence. The Lakers are 5-9 (.357) without James this season and 36-62 (.367) without him during his Los Angeles tenure.”
Now that the King is out, the Lakers will have to pick up the slack on offense. This season, the all-time leading scorer has been averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game. Buha shared his thoughts on which specific players would need to step up in James’ absence.
“Troy Brown Jr. has been James’ primary backup since the rotation reshuffle. He’s the early favorite to replace James in the starting lineup. Beyond that, the Lakers will likely play Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves more at small forward in an attempt to juice up their offense.”
As mentioned, the team still has talented players to utilize including Jarred Vanderbilt. D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Davis, two other leading LA scorers, both missed the Lakers’ last game, a 123-117 victory yesterday over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both players are at least expected to return sooner than LBJ, however. There is no doubt the Lakers will have to make adjustments as the team tries to rally from the bottom of the West in order to see the postseason.