The Lakers (31-46) have lost five straight and are a game behind the Spurs for 10th seed in the Western Conference. So you know James’ ankle must be bad if he is missing this game.
Either way, the combination of James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook (and other old additions) have made the Lakers this season’s biggest bust. Even if they do climb into the play-in tournament, they will be sent home from the postseason fairly quickly.
The Lakers don’t have enough young legs to defend very well, and that is something they’ve proved all season. Without James, they won’t have much of an offence, either.
James has been a scoring machine lately, and what he’s been doing at the age of 37, on a sprained ankle, is truly old-school, admirable stuff. He will keep battling. But this year, the roster isn’t good enough to come along for the ride.