Once again, LA is in serious trouble without him.
It’s no surprise that James is the heart and soul and most important part of the Lakers – he has been for several years now.
LeBron could miss multiple games with swelling in his knee, per multiple reports.
The Lakers are 24-27… this could get ugly. 😳 pic.twitter.com/vTmY8NHKzC
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) February 1, 2022
But the team can’t just throw their hands up in the air now that James is out.
They will have to figure out other ways to keep going and surviving despite losing their most coveted and important star.
However, filling the void left by James is a mighty big task since he’s such an incredible, unparalleled player.
If they want to replace James for the time that he’s gone, the Lakers have a few options.
2. AD Steps Up
No one could say that Anthony Davis isn’t playing well this year.
The power forward is putting up 23.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks a game – all impressive numbers.
However, some have commented that he isn’t playing with the same aggressiveness that he’s had in previous years and that’s an argument that can be made.
When you watch Davis on the floor, you don’t see the same fire in his belly that he had when the team took the championship.
Davis will need to step it up with James gone.
He needs to go into every single game like it’s a playoff elimination game.
Anthony Davis is warming up with a heavily taped right wrist pic.twitter.com/Ogqlfw3u7Q
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) January 30, 2022
The truth is that Davis is the de-facto leader of the team while James is away.
Some would guess those responsibilities would go to Russell Westbrook but Westbrook has repeatedly proven he doesn’t want to lead a team.
Davis, on the other hand, has shown flashes of leadership in the past and needs to do that once again in James’ absence.
Many more plays should run through Davis and the team should adjust to him being the most important part of any lineup.
Davis needs to prove he has what it takes.
James and Davis were always supposed to be the big two of the Lakers – with James gone, it’s time that Davis becomes the big one.
1. Go Young
This season has been rough for LA, to put it gently.
And the brightest silver lining for this year has been the young, up-and-coming talent that has made its mark for the Lakers.
Now that James is sitting out for the foreseeable future, the guys should get much more time to shine.
In the days – or weeks – ahead, these players should get much more time in the rotation.
This will lead to a much faster version of the Lakers, which could be just what they need.
And even if it doesn’t result in many more wins, it will give the young players on the roster more time to perfect their skills and get even better.
That means that when James returns, he will be coming back to an improved, powerful, fast squad of players.
Not at all, they will be a major part of the lineup but the young players will be the central focus of Frank Vogel’s plays.
Without James, this is an option for the team to survive – if not thrive – while he’s gone.