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"That's our job to figure out how to play without him" - Malik Monk reflects on LeBron James' absence, says he's "greatly missed"

Malik Monk #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a play with LeBron James #6
Malik Monk #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a play with LeBron James #6

It is becoming increasingly difficult to win without LeBron James for the LA Laker, who have lost three consecutive games since he was sidelined due to a knee injury. The Purple and Gold had the opportunity to finish their six-game road trip with a third win but collapsed in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks.

Although the Lakers did not exactly enjoy lengthy winning streaks with LeBron in the lineup, they always had a better chance of winning with the 37-year-old on the floor.

The loss against the Hawks was disappointing, as the Lakers had the tools to win the game. They blew another double-digit lead in the fourth quarter as they had no answer for Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu and eventually lost the game 129-121.

According to Lakers beat writer Mike Trudell, Malik Monk says the team misses LeBron but has to find a way to succeed without him.

“He’s missed tremendously … but that’s our job to figure out how to play without him.”
Monk on LeBron: “He’s missed tremendously … but that’s our job to figure out how to play without him.”

There were no faults in Monk's game tonight, who exploded for 33 points and knocked down eight three-pointers in 14 attempts. He also added ten rebounds and five assists. Amazingly, he was the best scorer and rebounder for the Lakers, maintaining his high-scoring streak against the Hawks.

However, the Lakers remain ninth in the Western Conference standings with a 24-27 record. They are now 16.5 games behind the top-seeded Phoenix Suns.


LeBron James has missed 15 games this season

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Age is always a factor in basketball, as the body gradually slows down after all the work it has put through over the years. We are starting to see it influence LeBron James' time on the floor, as he is more injury-prone and does not recover as swiftly as he once did.

James' longevity is something to admire. The four-time NBA champ is still performing at an incredibly high level in year 19, thanks to an intense care routine for his body. However, age is starting to catch up to him as he is getting sidelined more often due to injuries.

👑 33 PTS | 7 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK@KingJames filled the stat sheet in the @Lakers win in Brooklyn! #LakeShow https://t.co/Lu76l4dfrb

So far this season, he has missed 15 of the Lakers' 51 games. Of his 36 starts, he has led the Lakers to 19 wins averaging 29.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 52.2% from the field.

In his absence, the Lakers have only managed five wins despite having elite-level scorers like Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony on the floor. It seems like the organization's gamble to bring in scorers that could impact the game in LeBron's absence is not working.

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Edited by Parimal
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