The Los Angeles Lakers are in serious trouble with LeBron James injured

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA Champions and are the third seed in the Western Conference with a 28-15 record. For anyone that does not follow basketball, it might seem like the Lakers are in a great position.

They are not. While fans still have the recent championship to back on, the Lakers are in serious trouble this season.

Anthony Davis has missed most of the season with Achilles Tendonosis and while it has been a grind, the Lakers have continued to play at a high level due to MVP-level production from LeBron James.

As you know, LeBron James is going to miss several weeks (history tells us 6+) with a high ankle sprain that he suffered against the Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers are without their two superstars and lost the first game without either LeBron or AD to the Phoenix Suns, 111-94.

This is indicative of how much trouble the Los Angeles Lakers are in with LeBron James being injured.

On the latest episode of the Lake Show Life Podcast, I broke down the impact of LeBron’s injury and the games that the Lakers have without him. Six weeks from the time of the injury puts him at May 2 against the Toronto Raptors.

However, that is the first game of a back-to-back, so for the sake of the exercise, we assumed that LeBron would return on May 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

That marks 23 games without LeBron James. If all goes as planned, the Lakers should hopefully have Anthony Davis for at least a third of those games. However, nothing is guaranteed with the nature of Achilles injuries.

I went through all of the matchups (listen above to get my quick thoughts on each game) and estimated that the Lakers would go anywhere between 8-15 and 10-13. One loss has already been accounted for from the Phoenix game.

If the Lakers wind up going 8-14 in the next 22 then the team would have a 36-29 record (.554). If they go 11-11 then they will have a 38-27 record (.585). A .585 winning percentage would currently put the Lakers in seventh place in the Western Conference. A .554 winning percentage would put them eighth.

While the Lakers would get LeBron and AD together for seven games in this situation, there could still be a chance that they finish either seventh or eighth. And if so, the Lakers would have to go through the play-in tournament.

The Lakers would play the seventh/eighth seed to determine who is the official seventh seed. The loser of that game would play the winner of the ninth and tenth seed. Granted, the Lakers would be more talented than any of those teams, but crazy things can happen in basketball and the Lakers could lose two games in a row if they don’t get the right bounces.

Even if they escape the bottom two playoff seeds, which will happen if they win games that they are supposed to when LeBron returns, the Lakers are still in trouble.

LeBron and AD will not get the proper runways to get up to speed for the NBA Playoffs. Not only that, but the Lakers have several new players this season that have not played many minutes with both LeBron and AD.

I argued against the Los Angeles Clippers last season for the exact same reason. You are splitting hairs in the NBA Playoffs and something as small as not having great on-court chemistry could completely change everything.

Next. New players to target with LeBron James injured. dark

Typically, I am the one to tell fans not to panic about the Los Angeles Lakers. This is something serious.