Instead, they are just hoping to make the postseason.
The Lakers are now 24-27 and James remains out with a lingering knee injury.
Fans got an unfortunate update Tuesday morning courtesy of NBA insider Shams Charania.
Lakers star LeBron James is expected to miss Wednesday’s game vs. Portland, and could be out a few more games due to irritation in left knee, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Sides want to be cautious and allow James to return once irritation subsides.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 1, 2022
The superstar will be out Wednesday and may miss even more games.
That has the NBA world reacting as the Lakers remain clinging to the ninth spot in the Western Conference standings.
Here come the hot takes and tears flying from the top rope because lebron James like ever other star in the league besides jokic & Giannis… is dealing with an injury. It’s age it’s finally catching up to him. Guess age catching up to embiid, kd, and other stars 😂
— James Edrick (@JamesEdrick3) February 1, 2022
NBA World Reacts To James Injury Update
This is awful news for the Lakers as they try to get back on track and chase a title.
Yet at this point, just getting back above .500 has to be the goal.
Missing LeBron for more games is just terrible for the Lakers.The Lakers are more top heavy than the PG Russ okc team. I'm not saying they are equal but look
The Lakers don't really have a
— RussellWestbrookgetsachip (@Alwaysn4evaArt) February 1, 2022
Ain't no way the lakers can't get all 3 stars on the court at the same time lol I bet you Lebron gon play in that all star game tho
— Tredafinesee💸 (@culbreath_jc) February 1, 2022
I can understand why lakers fans would be frustrated if the lebron era ends up with 1 ring and early playoff exits/play in game appearances. But the ones i follow seem happy with the ring
— nah (@_bigkinsey) February 1, 2022
There are crazy high expectations for any team featuring James.
Yet neither are supposed to be carrying the team on their own.
That is James’ job, which explains why his continued absence is a worst-case scenario for the team.
Lakers' record with LeBron James: 19-17. Without: 5-10. They've won 3 of the last 10. Spurs have actually played pretty well despite the 19-32 record. And if Zion returns for the Pels (unlikely), the Lakers might not even make it to the play-in, as 'Bron is still out.
— Mihkel Talivee 7m (@MTalivee) February 1, 2022
LeBron might as well sit the rest of the season.. Lakers aren’t going anywhere
— SL🐐 (@stlewis0) February 1, 2022
Lebron is likely to miss the next few games for the Lakers
—Swelling is still present
—Swelling results in quads becoming weaker
Once the swelling goes down he will need get his strength to where it was before to return
— Dr. Evan Jeffries, DPT (@GameInjuryDoc) February 1, 2022
The Lakers sitting at 24-27 this late in the season is an absolute disaster for the organization.
This has led to constant talk of Frank Vogel’s job security, and he seemingly could be fired at any point.
That is no way to operate, especially as a supposed Finals contender.
AD has been great his 2 games without LeBron but the coaching staff and the 44 million dollar man keep selling. Need them both to step up for the next week
— Lakers Supply (@LakersSupply) February 1, 2022
James returning and helping the Lakers climb up the standings is the only way to salvage the season and perhaps the rest of his career.
But if he has an extended absence, the Lakers will be lucky to be clinging to a play-in spot in the West.