It's not a secret that the Los Angeles Lakers were built around LeBron James, his skills, and the kind of players he needs to lead the franchise to a title. That's why it's unsurprising to see them struggling without him.
The Lakers are designed to run through Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The first missed two months with a calf injury and the latter has missed the last 21 games while nursing a high-ankle injury.
Needless to say, that has taken a toll on their seeding, as they're currently sitting at the 5th spot in the Western Conference, trailing the fourth-seeded Denver Nuggets by 5 games.
The Lakers only have 10 games in the regular season, and after losing 116-107 to the Washington Wizards, NBA analyst Skip Bayless urged The King to rush his comeback to try and help his team.
"Lakers lose at Wizards as Westbrook goes for 18/18/14. 18 rebounds! 7 more than the Big Penguin! No wonder LeBron was caught on camera on the bench on his phone. Hurry back from vacation, King," Bayless tweeted.
LeBron James was a legit MVP candidate before suffering that injury. He was averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.0 steals, and 2.4 three-pointers per game on 51/36/70 shooting while also playing nearly 34 minutes a night.
The Lakers are just 11 games above the sixth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers and the play-in tournament. Nonetheless, recent reports claim that The King is almost ready to get back on the court, so that scenario seems unlikely.
Obviously, the Lakers are in no need to rush their 36-year-old star back to the court. Then again, they'd be wise to get him a couple of games to stay fresh and fully recovered for the postseason if they want to make another run at a championship.