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Analyzing the impact of LeBron James and Anthony Davis' absence in the LA Lakers road to 2021 NBA playoffs

Superstar duo of LA Lakers LeBron James and Anthony Davis
Superstar duo of LA Lakers LeBron James and Anthony Davis
Arjun Julka
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 07 Apr 2021
Feature

2020 defending champions LA Lakers have had a great run in the current 2021 season, especially after acquiring talents like Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol, and Montrezl Harrell.

However, their smooth run has hit a temporary roadblock with injuries to their top 2 stars - LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Davis went down with a right calf strain on February 14th, while James suffered a high ankle sprain in March.

Analyzing the LA Lakers' road to the playoffs

Since the absence of their superstars, the LA Lakers have really been struggling to get a place in the top 3 seeds of the Western Conference. However, the signing of Andre Drummond has bought the franchise some respite.

The Lakers also broke their recent 4 game losing streak against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they are currently 4-6 in their last 10 games and currently the 5th seed in the Western Conference.

PG Dennis Schroder is the centerpiece of the Lakers in the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Lakers PG Dennis Schroder
Los Angeles Lakers PG Dennis Schroder

The former OKC player, known for his athleticism and speed on both sides of the court, has had a good year with the LA Lakers. Even though his 3-point shooting, which is below 40%, is something he still needs to work on, He is a complete 2-way player.

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Schroder also led the team to their second straight victory last month against the Orlando Magic without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, scoring 24 points.

He recently declined a 4-year $84 million contract extension with the LA Lakers, making his future with the franchise uncertain.

LA Lakers Bigs Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrel are trying to fill in the shoes of Javale Mcgee and Dwight Howard

Marc Gasol, the NBA veteran from Spain, plays center position for the LA Lakers and is also a former NBA champion.

Gasol has struggled during his stint with the Lakers, especially since he replaced Javale McGee and Dwight Howard, who helped deliver the chip to the LA Lakers.

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The expectations were always high from Gasol since he had previously won defensive player of the year in the 2012-13 season and also recently won a championship in 2019 with the Toronto Raptors.

Though a good rim protector, Gasol has been struggling with his speed and footwork on the court.

Montrezl Harrell, a former Clipper and 6th man of the year, joined the LA Lakers in the off-season of 2020. He is known to dominate in the paint, while also having a tremendous wingspan and the ability to catch the ball.

Though he missed a few games previously, Harrell has been making quite an impact for the team since the All-Star break.

Harrell is one of the most talented players currently playing in the NBA.

The recruitment of Andre Drummond

The arrival of Andre Drummond has been great news for the Laker nation since they are missing their star-power due to injury.

Drummond is one of the greatest rebounders in the league, someone the Lakers have so desperately needed since the departures of Javalee Macgee and Dwight Howard.

He is a 2-time All-Star and a 4 time NBA rebounding leader.

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In his debut as a Laker against the Milwaukee Bucks, Drummond suffered a toenail injury due to which he had to leave the match halfway. However, the possibility of toe fracture was ruled out.

In conclusion, it can be said the injury woes for the Lakers continue. They have somehow managed to stay at the 5th seed, but only time will tell what's in store for the future for the LA Lakers.

The supporting cast needs to step up and help the team maintain its position within the top 5 seeds of the Western Conference.

Published 07 Apr 2021, 02:38 IST
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