With Anthony Davis looking like he is back to his normal, unbelievable self, the next question surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers is obviously when will LeBron James be back on the court with his co-star.
Head coach Frank Vogel has been pretty vague surrounding James overall, but all reports seem to indicate his return will be soon, especially with the regular season coming to an end.
James has been seen on the sidelines of recent Lakers games and has been extremely engaged even though he isn’t suited up. There is a concern upon James’ return, however, as his on-court time has been minimal over the past couple of months and, as was the case with Davis, it usually takes a player a few games to get back into rhythm.
But James has always been a player in which typical rules didn’t apply and his team has no concerns about how he will look once he is back on the court.
“What I’ve seen from LeBron today, he’ll be fine. Trust me. He’ll be fine,” Davis said after the win over the Suns. “He’s been in this game long enough. Obviously, he hasn’t missed a ton of games, but he’s been in this league long enough to be able to come back and lock in and do what he got to do to help the team.
“But I don’t know what other teams are thinking. We know that we’re confident against anybody we match up against, especially when we’re fully healthy. That’s our mindset. … We’re going to come out and fight and I think teams know that just because we’re a lower seed we’re not going to back down from anybody. We’re going to come out and play Lakers basketball and I think teams know that and fear that as well.”
It appears Davis won’t have to wait long to see James back on the court as Chris Haynes of Yahoo basically confirmed that he has looked good in workouts and should return this week:
Yahoo Source: Lakers star LeBron James (ankle) has had two “really good days of workouts at a high level” and feels “great.” He plans to return Tuesday against Knicks or Wednesday against Rockets.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 10, 2021
Of course, there is still plenty that will have to come together for the Lakers in a short period of time, but James is the ultimate weapon when it comes to figuring things out on the fly.
His head coach also isn’t too worried either. “He looks good in his workouts,” Vogel said. “Obviously, there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period with him in terms of getting his rhythm and timing back. Hopefully we have enough time for that to pick up very quickly.
“I tend to learn to have confidence in LeBron James in situations like that and we’ve said all along we’re going to battle through this stretch the best we can and try to get as healthy as we can down the stretch knowing that we can do big things if can get our two horses and really our team back, Dennis [Schroder] included.”
The Lakers will also be hoping to get point guard Dennis Schroder back in the lineup before the end of the regular season. He will also play a big role in the team’s championship hopes this season.
With so many players being in and out of the lineup it has been basically impossible for the team to truly develop chemistry.
But when James is on the court, seemingly anything is possible and his ability raises the Lakers’ ceiling despite all of the things that have gone against them this season. Normally things wouldn’t be able to fall into place in this amount of time, but James back on the court and Davis playing at a high level could very well force things into place.
Vogel says Davis’ performance won’t affect James’ timeline
The hope is that James will be back on the court for one of the Lakers’ next two games coming up this week, but as it stands, nothing is for certain. Vogel added that Davis’ recent performances won’t affect James’ timeline.
“I think it affects the confidence of the group and I don’t think it affects Bron’s timeline. Bron is going to try to get in there as much as he can to get a rhythm without agitating the ankle. I don’t think how Anthony is playing or what our seeding situation looks like is going to change LeBron’s timeline.”
Being healthy is the most important thing for the Lakers as they feel they can beat anyone at full strength so if James has to miss another game or two, they won’t hesitate to hold him out.
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