Despite LeBron James being out, the Los Angeles Lakers put up a valiant effort in their loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
James has been on a scoring tear the past couple of weeks, which is impressive considering he has been dealing with knee soreness. The 37-year old’s knee looked just fine in their most recent win against the Cleveland Cavaliers as he displayed his otherworldly athleticism on a couple of drives to the rim.
The superstar was scratched from the lineup the day of the game against the 76ers, but head coach Frank Vogel chalked it up to the number of minutes he has been playing the past week.
“Just dealing with some soreness. Played three games in four nights. A lot of minutes. There’s enough soreness to keep him out tonight.”
The Lakers have the next three days off, so a rest day for James made sense for him to recover as much as possible. However, Vogel added that the break did not a play a factor in the team’s decision to sit him out.
“If he can be in there, he wants to be in there. He’s dealing with soreness in the knee.”
James’ minutes are always a concern for Vogel, who has tried to do his best to find time for his star to rest during games. However, with Los Angeles fighting to keep their Play-In Tournament spot, Vogel has had no choice but to play James extended minutes to keep them competitive on a nightly basis.
While the Lakers’ championship dreams have all but evaporated, James is determined to play through the season to the best of his abilities. Despite being in Year 19, James shows no signs of slowing down but it would be wise for Vogel and the rest of the organization to make sure he makes it out of this campaign in one piece.
LeBron James having ‘time of my life”
The narratives surrounding the Lakers all season have not been positive given their inability to string together wins or stay healthy. The outside noise has been a distraction for the team, with some even positing that James would try to leave at some point.
However, James debunked that notion quickly, emphasizing how much he has enjoyed playing and how he blocks out any sort of negativity.
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