There has been a noticeable lack of LeBron James discourse lately because the Los Angeles Lakers forward has been bench-ridden due to an abdominal injury. His team, unsurprisingly, has been struggling in his absence. Led by Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers have gone 3-3 since LeBron's injury, capped off by an embarrassing 18-point loss to the Chicago Bulls last night.
While we shouldn't be too quick to pile on Los Angeles' performances without their best player, the holes in the roster around LeBron have become even more clear while he's sidelined. Davis is great on both ends of the court but isn't suited to carry a team to victory every single night and Westbrook remains the exact same, with spates of greatness separated by bouts of brutal turnovers and boneheaded errors. The rest of the rotation is pretty bad unless Carmelo Anthony is shooting the lights out.
It's still very early and there's a lot of time to figure out these problems, but the Lakers' struggles sans LeBron do not inspire much faith in the roster's ability to make a deep playoff run. This is the third time in the last four seasons LeBron has missed weeks at a time due to injury. When he's on the court, he's as good as ever, but these injuries give us a sliver of a glimpse at LeBron's mortality. As his body suffers more wear-and-tear, can he carry a flawed roster like this Lakers team to the Finals like he has in the past?