The Los Angeles Lakers’ sustained inconsistency continues to serve as a source of concern for its fanbase. Amidst the distress, the Western Conference franchise is set to host the Eastern Conference rival Detroit Pistons at the City of Angels. As the hosts aim to extend their winning form, anticipation rises over the availability of the Lakers All-Star LeBron James.
As per the latest injury report, the 4x champion is dealing with a peroneal tendinopathy on his left ankle. This injury causes inflammation in tendon regions, resulting in pain in the outside area of the foot. Generally, this condition takes from three months to up to a year to recover properly. Due to this, the 39-year-old has been listed as ‘Questionable’ for the upcoming home encounter.
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The 20x All-Star has been dealing with this injury since the start of this campaign. His current average playing time of 35 minutes instead of the recommended 29 minutes per game has also slowed down the recovery process. Till now, the 4x MVP has already missed out on a total of four games out of six matches particularly due to this condition. So, his possible absence in the upcoming game would result in him getting sidelined for the 7th time this season.
This shifts the pressure entirely on the Lakers roster as the Akron-born remains an integral part of their success. Averaging 24.8 points, 7.3 assists, and 7.8 rebounds, per game, the forward maintains his status as a leading NBA figure. Hence, his absence may cause a hindrance for the franchise as they aim to improve their win percentage.
How has the Los Angeles Lakers coped without LeBron James?
The LA organization is currently on a 3-3 run without the services of their talisman. Therefore, the season stats have forced the supporters to keep their expectations low. After all, alongside the King, the team’s number two Anthony Davis, and four more players might also fail to feature in the clash.
Yet, there remains scope for a miracle as the roster’s second unit ran the show recently under similar circumstances. In an away game against the Boston Celtics, the Lakers silenced its doubters without James and AD by rising against the odds. They defeated the hosts 114-105 in TD Garden to add a significant layer to the age-old rivalry.
So, against a relatively weaker Pistons side, the task should be easy for the Lakers. It also provides the head coach Darvin Ham and his coaching staff with an opportunity to showcase their strategic brilliance. All in all, the absences could become blessings in disguise for the organization.