Coming off the first Championship of the LeBron James era, the L.A. Lakers came into the 2021 campaign with spirits up and expectations high.
But as the season raged on, and injuries mounted, doubt slowly grew that the team would be able to bounce back from the hole they've been digging.
Perhaps, most worryingly, is the health of LeBron James, whose right ankle has compromised his abilities. In fact, anxiety is growing that this latest injury might inhibit his game for the entirety of the playoffs.
“The concern for the Lakers right now – that right ankle of LeBron James that kept him out for six weeks, has put him out again – this is not going to get a lot better,” said ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “He’s going to have to play with discomfort in the postseason. It’s not going to be until the summer. So there’s an even greater load on Anthony Davis here. But the question still remains of how effective LeBron James can be.”
Obviously, LeBron James is the catalyst that makes this Lakers team so successful. Without his leadership and impact on the floor, do the Lakers have any hope of making a deep playoff run?
Only Anthony Davis and the supporting cast can fill his shoes, and it remains to be seen if they can do enough.
In the meantime, all we can really do is watch and wait on "the King's" recovery, and how the team will look upon his return.