The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the biggest powerhouses in the NBA, both historically and now.LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dennis Schoder, and Montrezl Harrell are all excellent guys to have on the floor at any given moment. However, the Lakers are currently in a rough stretch, losing close games to the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, and even the underwhelming Washington Wizards. Anthony Davis has not played since Feb. 6’s matchup against the Pistons, nursing a calf injury all the while, and he has actually recused himself of his All-Star position because of it.
The absence of Anthony Davis means someone needs to step up and fill the shoes; the one who has tried to do so is LeBron, who already carries much of the load for this team. Out of the games Davis has missed, LeBron has frequently led in most categories such as points, assists, and rebounds in. One man can not do it all, and that is the pressure that LeBron presently has on his shoulders to win games. Another statistic in which LeBron is leading the team recently is in minutes played. Against the Brooklyn Nets, he played 37 of 48 minutes. Against the Miami Heat, he played 39, and. against the Washington Wizards, he played an incredible 47. Basketball, unfortunately for the superstar, is not a one man sport, and that is why someone needs to step up and be that number 2 option while Anthony Davis remains out. However, if that is what it takes to win, then LeBron may still very well do it. In the 2017 NBA finals, LeBron averaged 33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, 10.0 assists per game. That came against a stacked, legendary Warriors team, so if he can replicate that success now, maybe they will get the wins they need.
Yet, the Lakers have players that can step up and fill that number 2 spot, if they will just do it. Kyle Kuzma has had somewhat of an impact for the team. He scored 16 against the Nets and 23 against the Heat, and Montrezl Harell was the next leading scorer behind LeBron in the Wizards game with 26. Players want to play and they are playing to win, but they just can not get it done. With Anthony Davis out, the rotation of the players is all out of whack, but this is time for players such as Alex Curuso, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Wesley Matthews to show Coach Vogel they can make plays when it counts.
Are the Lakers on a bit of a bad stretch? Yes, but the Lakers end goal is to win the NBA Finals. To win the NBA finals, all it takes to make that first step is to make the Playoffs. And to do that, all it takes is finishing number 8 or higher in the conference. The Lakers currently sit in third right now, which is 5 games in front of the 8th seed, so they have some cushion. This is the Western Conference, and anything can happen, but as of now the Lakers are just going through a rough patch trying to find their way without Anthony Davis. Once they figure it out, or maybe once Anthony Davis comes back, they will return to winning games. Whichever one comes first.