LeBron James injury

Davis & Russell must step up for the Lakers following LeBron’s injury

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Below, we have covered for the latest LeBron James’ injury updates and how James’ injury could affect the Los Angeles Lakers rotation.

The Los Angeles Lakers have upwards momentum, riding a three-game winning streak during this crucial stretch of their season. Yes, they are still a half-game behind the last play-in spot in the Western Conference (currently held by the skidding New Orleans Pelicans). Still, there’s reason to believe the Lakers could break into the play-in picture and maybe a surefire playoff spot by the end of the regular season.

LeBron James injury news 2023

But then, the LeBron James injury news took over social media on Monday. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that James would be sitting out for an indefinite period due to a right foot injury he suffered during the Lakers’ 111-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

James said that he heard something “pop” when he injured his foot, but he still managed to return to the game and play through the injury. The four-time NBA MVP logged a shade below 37 minutes in that game, tallying 26 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

At this point, James’s injury will have severe repercussions in the Lakers’ rotation. They only have 20 games left on their schedule, and if James misses at least a couple of weeks of action, the Lakers need a couple of players to step up their game.


Who could step up for the Lakers amidst the LeBron James injury?

D’Angelo Russell

With their acquisition of D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers were on the right side of the 2023 trade deadline winners and losers debate. In his first four games for the Lakers this season, Russell averaged 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists.

But with this injury to James, expect Russell’s playing time to go up from 24.8 minutes to at least 30 minutes per game. Russell won’t exactly attract defenses as much as James does, but his floor generalship, playmaking, and outside shooting will come in handy for the suddenly short-handed Lakers squad.

Anthony Davis

The next few weeks feel like a make-or-break stint for Anthony Davis, at least regarding his future with the Lakers. The LeBron James injury opens up an opportunity for Davis to revert to being the main guy for his team, especially with the Lakers in danger of missing out on the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

From a box score perspective, Davis is still posting All-Star caliber numbers of 25.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 3.1 defensive stocks (combined blocks and steals averages). But health setbacks (Davis has already missed 24 games this season) have prevented the star big man from consistently putting up the MVP-caliber games that are typical for him.

Davis failed to eclipse the 15-point mark in three of the last seven games, although he did pour in 30 markers in the win against the Mavericks. Can he build on this recent 30-point performance and remain healthy with James out? The Lakers fan base is keeping their fingers crossed on this one.


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