The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealing with injuries at an alarming rate since the start of training camp. Actually, you can argue injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis were the reason the Lakers didn’t make a deep run in the playoffs last year. It’s safe to say we’ve had enough of injuries, but with this aging roster, the organization and fan base will be on the edge of their seat every time a Laker hits the floor.
LeBron has missed the last two games with soreness in his right ankle. The soreness stems from an opposing player falling into his ankle during the game against the Grizzlies. We all know LeBron is durable, but this is simply too much. Luckily, this ankle injury was not as serious. Although he has missed two games, these were more due to the Lakers playing their first back-to-back of the year.
After that disappointing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Lakers return to Los Angeles to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Lakers have an ace up their sleeve for the game on Friday night. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, there is a chance that LeBron could return to the lineup to face his former team. (h/t:@Ralph_MasonJr)
Woj: There is optimism Lebron will return to the Lakers lineup on Friday
— Ralph Mason (@Ralph_MasonJr) October 28, 2021
While the Lakers could have easily gone 2-0 in LeBron’s absence, it’s no secret the Lakers need their superstar to help build chemistry with this new roster. The Cavs are not a contending team, but the Lakers will be taking the opposing team’s best shot on most nights. Also, the Cavs have some good young players looking to show out under the bright lights of Los Angeles. The Lakers need to take them seriously and impose their will.
Joining LeBron with a right ankle injury is Rajon Rondo, who is also listed as questionable. Rondo has been shooting the ball well, but the issue is now depth. The Lakers are already missing a multitude of players and Davis is hobbled as well. The Lakers are 2-3 to start the season and not only do they need the wins but the chemistry. The addition of Westbrook has made Frank Vogel’s job a little harder, but I believe the talent will overcome.
For this to work it requires time and the Lakers have not had that luxury. While having the number one seed in the West would be advantageous, health is the number one priority. If the Lakers can enter the playoffs healthy, you have to like their chances. If the LeBron and company can find the style of play that best fits this roster, then another Larry O’Brien trophy could be within reach. This time with an actual parade.