The Lakers 2020-2021 season has been injury-riddled. After going last season with neither of their 2 superstars getting injured, both LeBron James and Anthony Davis have gone out with injuries midway through this season. But, after a couple of months of rehab, AD is back, and LeBron should be soon. So what does this mean for the Lakers?
The main focus right now with AD & LBJ coming back is seeding. Now, if you asked anyone in the Lakers locker room they’d say they don’t care about seeding, but everyone knows the path you take in the playoffs has a huge impact on your hopes of a championship. As of when this article is being written on April 25th, the Lakers are the 5 seed. They are 1.5 games ahead of the 4 seed, and 2 games ahead of the dreaded 7 seed that would force them into the play in games. Going into this past weekend, they were 3.5 games ahead of the 6 seed Mavericks. But with the Mavericks beating them in back-to-back games, it’s a tight race. AD understandably struggled in his first two games back, shooting under 30% from the field. But, once that rust wears off, the Lakers will hope to hold on to their playoff spot and face the Nuggets/Jazz/Suns or Clippers throughout the playoffs as they hope to make it back to back NBA championships.
However, playoff seeding isn’t the only thing that will benefit from the superstars being back. Another thing the team needs to build up before the postseason is chemistry. Since AD & LeBron have gone down, the Lakers have signed elite rebounder Andre Drummond and sharpshooter Ben McLemore. AD and Drummond learning to work together on the court is essential, as to beat elite teams like the Suns, Nets, and Clippers, big man play is needed. LeBron also needs to get used to learning Ben McLemore’s spots. Now this is LeBron James we are talking about, so this shouldn’t take too long, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
So there you have it, the impact of LeBron James & Anthony Davis coming back from injury with just a little more than 10 games left until the playoffs. As a Laker fan, I hope these guys and the rest of the league can remain healthy, as we gear up for playoff basketball.