The Los Angeles Lakers can never seem to catch a break as their recent three-game win streak was marred by an injury to LeBron James.
James hurt his right foot in the victory against the Dallas Mavericks and was ruled out for their game against the Memphis Grizzlies. However, the Lakers were dealt a bigger blow when they discovered James’ absence would be extended at least a couple of weeks.
As has been the case each time a star’s gone down, Darvin Ham preached the importance of next man up, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Well, we had a meeting this morning and watched a little film in preparation for Memphis and I just told them three things. We got to continue to play the right way, we got to continue to be together and we also got to continue on with the mission. The mission hasn’t changed for us. The goal of securing a playoff spot is still very much alive and it’s unfortunate that Bron went down but injuries are a real part of our sport. And it’s next man up, we got to step up and hold down the fort until he returns.”
The difference between now and previous stretches where James was out is the influx of new players. With some more depth and talent, Ham is optimistic his team can carry the load until James is able to return:
“I don’t know if it differs. I just think that guys we brought in are extremely hungry. They know what it’s like to make a push like this what we’re attempting to do. And again, they’re highly skilled, high IQ. We’ll get DLo back here pretty soon, that’s going to be a huge shot in the arm for us going forward. AD, him, you saw the game he had last game and he’s trending in the right direction rhythm-wise. I just see us carrying on, man. Like I said, it’s a huge blow to have Bron injured but we’re gonna keep on and full steam ahead with our goals that we set for ourselves.”
It’s a tall task for the purple and gold to win games against quality teams without James. However, they have no choice but to try and it’ll be interesting to see how many wins they can pull off until the King returns.
LeBron James pleased with Lakers’ versatility and ability to be productive when shots aren’t falling
The talent and fit of the new role players has given the Lakers more room for error. In that regard, James expressed his pleasure with the new roster’s versatility and ability to be productive even on rough shooting nights.
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