Injuries have been the biggest dilemma for the defending champions LA Lakers this season.
In an unfortunate event earlier this season, Lakers’s ace big-man Anthony Davis had a heartbreaking February 14 after he suffered Achilles and calf injuries that have sidelined him until now.
Over one month after on March 20, against the Atlanta Hawks, LeBron James followed him in the injury list after suffering a high ankle sprain.
The Lakers have been missing combined total of 47.9 points, 11.9 rebounds and 10.9 assists per game with those two out due to injury.
Davis and James have missed a combine total of 38 games this season and it caused the Lakers to drop from being the third seed to the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
In their last 10 games, the purple and gold squad are only 4-6, including losses at the hands of fellow title contenders like the Clippers, Bucks, 76ers and most recently the Miami Heat, 110-104.
The rest of the Lakers have been putting up decent numbers but haven’t been able to rack up wins and maintain their spot in the top four of the standings.
|Last 10 Games||POINTS||REBOUNDS||ASSISTS||STEALS/BLOCKS||FIELD GOAL|
|Dennis Schröder||16.2 PPG||3.6 RPG||8.0 APG||2.0 SPG||40.5% FG|
|Montrezl Harrell||15.6 PPG||7.5 RPG||0.7 APG||0.8 SPG/0.7 BPG||60.2% FG|
|Kyle Kuzma||12.6 PPG||7.4 RPG||3.6 APG||0.4 SPG/0.4 BPG||39.0% FG|
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||10.4 PPG||3.3 RPG||1.9 APG||0.7 SPG||40.0% FG|
|Talen Horton-Tucker||10.6 PPG||3.0 RPG||2.0 APG||1.3 SPG||43.9% FG|
Recently acquired Andre Drummond is yet to play a big factor for the Lakers as he has only played two games so far, but he did play big against the Heat, finishing with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and two steals on 55.6% shooting from the field.
Now, with 20 games left in the schedule of the Lakers, a big question now is: should they be worried heading into the Playoffs?
As said earlier, they’ve been very rocky in their last 10 games. Teams that were behind them before AD and LBJ went down are now gaining momentum.
The Denver Nuggets have overtaken them for the fourth-seed, winning eight of their last 10 games and seven straight.
The Dallas Mavericks are slowly gaining momentum too, winning seven of their last three games and slowly climbing the standings from the seventh spot with a record of 29-22, just behind the current fifth-seeded Portland Trailblazers who have a 30-21 record.
Although, reports have come out that Davis will be back on the court after their road stretch.
The Lakers will still visit the three playoff teams from the East; Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets before going home on April 16 against the Boston Celtics.
If that would be true, then that means Davis only has around 17 games to be fully ready for the playoffs.
Then, there’s the problem with LeBron James.
There is still no official statement on his return and with their schedule about to finish, this could be an issue.
If at the very least, they secure the fifth spot, that means they may need to take on the Nuggets, who have been deadly since the trade deadline and hungry for revenge after losing to them in the West Finals last season.
Maybe it’s not panic time yet, but if I were a Laker fan, I’d be worried for my team’s chances to go back-to-back this season.
What do you think about the Lakers? Do you think they should be worried heading into the Playoffs? Sound off in the comment section!