Sport Los Angeles Lakers: Who has been the go-to option with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out?

03:26  11 april  2021
03:26  11 april  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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 Lebron Increases Shares at FC Liverpool Basketball Superstar LeBron James Increases its shares in English Football Master FC Liverpool. To what extent it is involved, unknown. © Provided by sport1.de Lebron Increases Shares at the FC Liverpool Basketball Superstar LeBron James has increased its shares in the English football master FC Liverpool.

The Los Angeles Lakers are title hunting, and with the Feb. 6 trade deadline on the horizon, they're going to be looking for an extra piece to help their push. What do they need? A backup point guard, or even a starter if he's good enough, who can lead second units and also play alongside LeBron Rajon Rondo becomes more expendable if the Lakers end up getting Darren Collison. Potentially some combination of DeMarcus Cousins and/or Jared Dudley is an option depending on the expense of the returning player. If the player coming back is good enough, the Lakers can dip into their already short

The Los Angeles Lakers have the best record in the NBA thanks to LeBron James #23 and Anthony Davis [+] #3. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images). If anything, they are dangerously close to becoming boring as they check off one win after another heading into a December gauntlet of games. But we may as well pick nits with a team that is out there playing like the Globetrotters right now. Top Heavy. The Lakers are deeper than any of us gave them credit for at the beginning of the season.

When star big man Anthony Davis went down with an Achilles injury back in February, the Los Angeles Lakers were heavily relying on 36-year-old LeBron James to maintain an MVP level of play to keep the team afloat.

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When James went down with an ankle injury, joining his All-Star teammate on the sidelines for a chunk of time, the defending champions needed some soul searching to figure out how they would keep this season from falling off the tracks while their duo healed.

Davis has been out since Feb. 16, missing the team's last 24 games. According to New York Times' Marc Stein, he is expected to remain out through Los Angeles' current Eastern Conference road trip, meaning he'll miss at least the next three games (versus the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets).

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The pairing of Anthony Davis , left, and LeBron James on the Lakers has been just as formidable as everyone expected.Credit Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports, via Reuters. But the Lakers clearly have considerable room to improve offensively, which raises the question: Is the league’s title race really as wide open as we thought? For all the rightful claims you could make about small sample sizes and knee-jerk reactions, if you offered me a choice today between the two L . A . teams and the field to win the championship, I would have to go with the Clippers- Lakers ticket.

There are perfect fits next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis , and then there's Danny Green, who would be something more than perfect. Considered an afterthought in the Kawhi Leonard trade, Green was magnificent in helping the Raptors win a championship this season. He shot 45.5 percent from The Lakers would be front-court heavy with Davis , Cousins and LeBron , but LeBron is going to be the main ball-handler and operate mostly on the perimeter. We get another look at the Cousins- Davis pairing that was starting to look really good at the end of their run in New Orleans before Cousins tore

James has been out since March 20, missing the team's last 10 games. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported on March 25 that LeBron is expected to miss 4-to-6 more weeks, meaning the earliest he would approximately return is April 22, with the latest being approximately May 6. That puts the 17-time All-Star out for roughly another 12-to-15 games, games the Lakers cannot afford to give away if they want to avoid sliding down the Western Conference standings.

In the 10 games the team has played without James or Davis, the Lakers own a 4-6 record, going from second-place to fifth-place in the West.

With a 32-20 record, they're just 2.5 games ahead of the first Play-In Tournament slot but only 2.0 games separate them from retaining homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

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LeBron James and Anthony Davis have powered the Lakers to a great start in 2019-20. AP Photo/Kyusung Gong. "I didn't think we were going to be able to connect this fast just because of the fact he had a lot of stuff going on this summer with 'Space Jam [2],' so we didn't get a lot of time to work out together," Davis said. The scenarios are different, of course. In Miami and Cleveland, when James joined up with superstars, they formed a big three, not a big two as is the case now -- there were more mouths to feed and egos to mesh.

The Los Angeles Lakers are going into the 2019-20 NBA season with a lot of aspirations, including an NBA Championship. One Laker that will have all eyes on him will be Anthony Davis after he was acquired via the New Orleans Pelicans this past offseason. One goal Anthony Davis has going into next season is to become the 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year. LeBron James is hoping to have a fully healthy season in 2019-20 to help the Los Angeles Lakers make a push for the 2020 NBA Finals.

So while these two stars inch slowly toward returning to the court, who has this team relied on to step up in their absence?

Montrezl Harrell, Marcus Morris are posing for a picture: Lakers © Provided by Sporting News Lakers

Reserve centre Montrezl Harrell is averaging 15.6 points and 7.5 rebounds over the 10-game span, but that isn't much of a jump from his season-long averages. Kyle Kuzma has taken on a bit more responsibility as a playmaker, up to 15.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game, but his efficiency has taken a dip, particularly from 3-point range where he has shot 28.4 percent.

You would think these voids would pave the way for significant minutes for 20-year-old promising forward Talen Horton-Tucker, but he has only seen his playing time jump up roughly four minutes per game. He's posting 10.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists over the 10 games to make the most of his shifts, but it hasn't been the breakout opportunity you may have expected.

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The Los Angeles Lakers no longer have a monkey on their back. After losing their first two matchups with the Los Angeles Clippers, they came into Sunday's battle knowing that a loss would lead to more whispers about their playoff viability. Falling to 0-3 against your biggest rival is borderline disastrous, and the Lakers played like it in a 112-103 win. It was a close game, and the Clippers led at halftime. But ultimately, the pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis was just too strong. The superstar duo combined for 58 points in the victory, but it was their defense that truly stood out .

LeBron Raymone James Sr. (/ləˈbrɒn/; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Newly signed centre Andre Drummond will have a chance to stake his claim as the team's No. 3 option, but his Laker career got out to a rough start, suffering a nagging toe injury just 12 minutes into his first contest. He has since recovered from the injury and made his presence felt in his second game, a loss to the Miami Heat, going for 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Now that Drummond is back in the lineup, will he be that emerging third star?

While that question is still to be determined, the closest thing there is to a defined answer of "who has been the Lakers' third star?," is point guard Dennis Schroder.

a close up of Dennis Schroder throwing a ball: #Schroder © Provided by Sporting News #Schroder

The 27-year-old has averaged the most points per game (16.2) over those 10 games while also owning the highest usage rate (24.5%). Taking over primary ballhandling duties in LeBron's absence, Schroder has gone from averaging 4.7 assists over his first 38 games of the season to 8.0 assists over the 10-game span. He is averaging roughly four turnovers per game, but you can't fault the floor general for trying to be a playmaker in filling James' shoes.

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His 3-point efficiency is up to almost 40 percent and his offensive rating is the best on the team for anyone that has played over 200 minutes. However, he does own the second-worst net rating on the team during this window due to a poor defensive rating.

But even with that being said, defence has not been the issue for Los Angeles. They actually own a better defensive rating (104.2) over the last 10 games than they did prior to James' injury that left the team without both of their stars (106.8).

The Lakers are struggling to produce consistent offence, with their offensive rating dropping from 112.7 to 101.3 – the second-worst offensive rating in the NBA over this stretch.

There is no denying that Schroder has been the player that has covered the most ground in the absence of James and Davis, but as a team, they truly struggled to step up and fill the gaps.

Maybe now that Drummond is back and healthy, that will be enough to keep things sailing along until the star tandem returns. But if not, and Los Angeles continues to stall when it comes to stringing together wins, this team could potentially face a much tougher playoff push than desired in trying to defend their NBA title.

It's certainly a situation to monitor closely until James and Davis are back in action.

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The Celtics pushes the .
lakers © supplied by Sports.co.uk basketball - NBA - Regular season: Brown and Celtics resist Lakers, curry and Warriors chained against the Celtics Celtics Celtics were scared up to at the end. In the night from Thursday to Friday, as part of the regular NBA season, the Boston franchise finally came to the end of the Los Angeles Lakers (113-121). At the fourth and last quarter, visitors had brought their lead to +27 (86-113).

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