LOS ANGELES — Coming off a successful NBA trade deadline and a big win over Dallas, the Lakers seemed to be hitting their stride before worrisome reports about a long-term absence from LeBron James due to a significant foot injury set them back.
In a Tuesday edition of the Locked On Lakers podcast, hosts Brian and Andy Kamenetzky discussed the setback the injury causes Los Angeles as well as why there is some optimism that their second star, Anthony Davis, can pick up the slack and keep the winning going.
“The hope was maybe that this was not something that severe because LeBron was able to play through it, even though, as we talked about, it was obvious he was feeling it,” Andy Kamenetzky said on Locked On Lakers. “Now we are concerned it is a ‘dreaded pop.’
James is reportedly going to be out indefinitely recovering from the foot injury he played through on Sunday afternoon. Still, Davis looks to have recovered from his own injury and is back to playing great basketball, meaning the upgraded supporting cast can help Davis keep piling up wins and get into the Western Conference play-in tournament.
“Anthony Davis played his best game since the injury on Sunday,” Brian Kamenetzky said. “He was flat dominant, particularly in the second half of that game.”
Coming off that win and some strong recent play overall, the Lakers will need Davis to be at his absolute best to make a push in the West.
“If AD takes himself back to the level during that stretch before he got hurt, where Anthony Davis was playing like an MVP candidate,” Andy Kamenetzky said. “I think the answer is the Lakers can have a fighting chance.
“That level from AD will make him as good as any player they are likely to face during this period. It’s going to be a lot of pressure on him because he is going to need to be that dude every single night, no exceptions. But that being said, if he can raise his level to that standard … I think they have a chance, but again it is not going to be easy.”
The Lakers are currently half a game out of the play-in tournament with 21 games to go.