On Sunday, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James missed his fourth straight game this season. In the Lakers’ 114-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 9, the 18-time All-Star sustained a left groin strain.
James hasn’t played since. “It’s tough. But it’s a process that we understand and we have to take our time because we don’t want this to be a delayed issue,” Lakers coach Darwin Hamm said of James’ health.
According to some NBA betting sites, the Lakers have the 20th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Few sportsbooks are giving the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings better odds in the Western Conference.
Darwin Hamm talks about Anthony Davis’ small lineup and LeBron James leading the injury rankings.
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 21, 2022
Are the Lakers better without LeBron? The Lakers have gone 3-1 since the 20-year-old veteran’s injury. Anthony Davis scored a team-high 30 points in the team’s 123-92 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
“I mean, it’s great,” Hamm said. I’d be lying to myself and everyone else if I said I didn’t feel good. It was one of Los Angeles’ best offensive outings this season.
In addition to Davis, six other Lakers scored in double figures: Kendrick Nunn (13), Austin Reaves (21), Dennis Schroder (13), Thomas Bryant (15), Russell Westbrook (10) and Lonnie Walker IV (14).
Lakers coach Darwin Hamm is confident that LeBron James will be out of action in the coming days.
Also, it’s the first time this season LA has held an opponent under 95 points. However, maybe the Lakers are still better with LeBron James. Through 10 games started this season, James is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals.
“He stays in rhythm, but again, what you do in a 1-on-0 workout or a 5-on-0 workout is a lot different than going into a game where you’re hitting the body, changing speed, changing direction.” Ham added to James’ recovery process.
LeBron James (left foot soreness) is out tonight, missing his fourth straight game. Darwin Hamm on caution with the 20-year-old veteran: “It’s tough. But it’s a process we understand and we’re just taking our time because we don’t want this to be a delayed issue.”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 21, 2022
“It’s not as predictable and it’s not as individual exercise control,” Hamm continued. “So again, there’s no need to rush it. He will definitely play some big games this season.
It’s November, so we have time on our side. We had that long break last week, seeing some opponents and getting healthy guys in Thomas and Dennis really allowed us to take our time with him. So, we want to be as careful as possible so again, throughout the season he doesn’t turn into something that he’s been dealing with consistently.
Of course, LeBron isn’t the only injured player against the Lakers. Both Max Christie and Westbrook are now listed as day-to-day. Westbrook had his right thumb evaluated after Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Spurs.
Fortunately, an X-ray on Westbrook’s thumb came back negative.
As for LeBron James, there is no word on whether the four-time MVP will play in Tuesday night’s road game against the Phoenix Suns. This game will be broadcast live on TNT at 10 pm ET.