When the Lakers inked LeBron James to a shiny four-year contract this past summer, it came with expectations of glory for the franchise. And while they were never considered the favorites by any stretch, the Lakers were filled with hope for what they could accomplish this season.
For those dreams to ever come to fruition, it requires LeBron James to be healthy.
And while he has finally returned from a long rehab process, some are doubting just how healthy he really is.
“He’s just not moving at the same speed nor is he engaging at the point of attack. That fourth-quarter moment in a loss to the Hawks on Wednesday in which Trae Young switched onto LeBron, and instead of taking the much smaller Young off the dribble LeBron casually threw the ball to Brandon Ingram in the corner? There are several examples like this.”
Since his return, he just hasn't looked like himself. He's moving different, deferring to teammates more, and looks a little lethargic on the floor at times.
Did he rush back his return in an attempt to push the Lakers into the postseason?
The Lakers certainly need him if they want any hope of making it, but they'll need him fully healthy. If James isn't 100%, it'll be nearly impossible for them to make up the ground they've already lost and, at 34-years old, it can't be good for his long term physical health.
EIther way, in what has been a nightmarish season in Los Angeles, things will only get harder for them as they attempt to work their way into a crowded playoff picture.