2021 Lakers
Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports

When the 2021 Lakers roster was constructed I’m sure they accounted for at least one of LeBron James or Anthony Davis being healthy and on the court. That is now not the case after LeBron James suffered a high ankle sprain in a game versus the Atlanta Hawks and is now expected to miss several weeks. Anthony Davis is also not available and hasn’t been for the majority of the season only playing in 23 games due to an Achilles injury.

The Lakers now have to turn to a cast of supporting players to keep the team afloat until their two-star players are ready to return. At 28-16, the Lakers are currently 4th in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. There is the panic that this team’s whole season may be derailed because of this LeBron Injury but that’s a pure overreaction. Going into the season the Los Angles Lakers were the team to beat in the west and it will remain the same regardless of where they fall in the standings.

The Los Angles Lakers Aren’t worried about seeding

Teams like the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns see it as an accomplishment to finish with one of the top records in their conference. While Home Court Advantage is important in playoff series when you have LeBron James none of that really matters. The 2021 Lakers could care less where they finish in the standings as long as LeBron James and Anthony Davis are healthy at the start of the Playoffs. LeBron James Led teams have only been the first seed five times in his career but that hasn’t stopped him from reaching the NBA Finals ten times.

The Lakers are going to lose games without James and Davis and trot out some very ugly lineups while they out with injury. The team could even slip and fall past the fourth seed and may face some tough competition in the first round. However, it should be noted that a LeBron James-led team has never once lost in the first round of the NBA playoff’s and I wouldn’t count on this year as the first for that to happen. In 18 years it’s clear that LeBron James should never be underestimated headed into the postseason no matter the opponent.

Don’t Count out King James

LeBron James is clearly angered that he won’t be able to compete and help the Lakers remain competitive in the second half of the season. Before the Injury, LeBron was doing what we’ve become accustomed to during his 18 year NBA career which is dominating the competition. During the last 15 games without Anthony Davis, James averaged 24.8 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game, and 7.8 assists per game. He was clearly on the path to making a case for another MVP award.

There hasn’t been an Injury that has been able to slow down James this far into his career. Many people may be losing faith in the Los Angles Lakers now but once the two stars return they will be the hottest team in the NBA. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the 2021 Lakers remain the team to beat and are virtually a lock for the conference finals once both are healthy and ready for a playoff run.