The Los Angeles Lakers are in a rough spot right now. With things finally starting to look up and the biggest win of the season behind them, the team was dealt a massive blow in the injury department. LeBron James is going to miss time with a foot injury that could hold him out as much as a month.
This is brutal for a Lakers team that is trying to climb up the standings with a new-look roster that was built at the trade deadline. There is real potential for this team when it is at full strength but now it is going to be without its best player for the foreseeable future.
With the Western Conference being so compact, the Lakers could still fight and claw for a spot in the play-in as long as certain players step up. It might be a long shot with LeBron’s injury, but it could happen.
3 Lakers that must step up to avoid disaster after LeBron James injury:
1. Anthony Davis
We will get the most obvious player out of the way first. Anthony Davis is the second superstar on this Los Angeles Lakers team and now it is up to him to carry the load while LeBron deals with a foot injury.
Davis is talented enough to be a top-10 player in the league and should be talented enough to lead a better supporting cast to a play-in spot. These next 10-15 games could end up defining AD’s legacy not only in Lakers lore, but in the entire scope of the NBA.
The Lakers need pre-injury Anthony Davis to return.
Prior to suffering a foot injury of his own, Anthony Davis was playing at a legitimate MVP level this season. AD was averaging 28.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in his first 24 games played this season.
There was a month-long stretch before his injury in which he scored 30+ points in nine of the 12 full games he played. In those 12 games, AD averaged 35 points, 14.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He looked like the best two-way player in the entire league.
Asking a player to average 35 and 15 might be a lot but the Lakers need a version of Davis that showcases his killer instinct to return. He is now the captain that steers the ship.