The Los Angeles Lakers simply cannot catch a break when it comes to injuries. On Tuesday, Anthony Davis returned to the lineup for a victory over the Brooklyn Nets after a lengthy absence, but as soon as one star returns to the fold, another misses time. That will be the case again Thursday as the Lakers take on the Philadelphia 76ers. LeBron James will miss the game due to left knee soreness, Lakers coach Frank Vogel revealed less than two hours before tip-off.
James will be considered day-to-day moving forward. The Lakers are on the front end of a back-to-back right now. They will play Friday night in Charlotte against the Hornets before finishing their road trip Sunday in Atlanta. They’ll then return to Los Angeles for games against the Blazers, Knicks and Clippers before hitting the road again.
James missed 12 games earlier in the season due in large part to an abdominal strain, but has been as dominant as ever in the games that he has played. The 19-year veteran is averaging 29.1 points per game on his best efficiency as a Laker. His team might be 24-24 due in large part to the injuries they’ve sustained, but James has more than done his part to keep the Lakers afloat.
Now they’ll rely on Davis and Russell Westbrook to keep the team moving without its best player. Teams with .500 records midway through the season can’t afford to be without their leaders for sustained periods, so the Lakers will need James back in the fold as soon as possible.