LeBron James’ return from his ankle injury can’t come soon enough for the Los Angeles Lakers as they have gone 8-13 in games without the four-time NBA champion. The reigning champions have also played with the third-worst offensive rating (105.9) since James sustained the injury on March 20.
The Lakers are fighting to avoid the play-in tournament, currently holding a 2.0-game advantage over the seventh-placed Portland Trail Blazers after the 116-107 loss to the Washington Wizards.
But the little amount of time the 36-year-old All-Star will have to rebuild chemistry with his teammates and get to know the new pieces in Andre Drummond and Ben McLemore could potentially prove even more detrimental to the team’s title pursuit.
Meanwhile, the 27-year-old center can’t wait to share the floor with James. “I don’t think my brain can process what type of opportunities will come from him being on the court,” he said.
But Drummond added the Lakers have to focus on the present for the time being. L.A. has 10 games left until the end of the regular season. “Right now, we can’t control him not being in there right now,” he said.
“We got to worry about the guys that are playing right now, so we’ve just got to worry about building that chemistry with them and when he does come, I’m sure great things will happen for everybody.”
Recent rumors claimed James could make his comeback as early as Friday night against the Sacramento Kings, which will be a welcomed site with only a handful of regular-season games left in the season.
Davis has faith in Drummond pairing
The Lakers have lost three of the four games since Anthony Davis returned from his Achilles injury. After the two-month break, the 28-year-old forward found a new frontcourt partner in Drummond, who joined the team during his rehab.
Davis said the two big men are still getting to know each other on the floor. But he remains confident the pairing will do great things for the Lakers. “We’re getting better each game,” he said.
“We got 10 games left to try to figure it out before it has to be perfect. But I like him alongside me, he’s protecting the rim, he’s rebounding for us, he gets extra possessions.”
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