Since straining the left side of his groin against the Warriors on Christmas Day, LeBron James has been listed as day-to-day. Now, it seems his absence will continue for at least for another week. According to multiple reports he'll miss the Lakers' upcoming two-game road trip against the Wolves and the Mavs. He'll also sit when the Knicks visit Staples Center Friday night.
After beating the two-time champs on Christmas Day with LeBron missing the entire final frame, the Lakers lost three of their last four, including a 107-100 loss at home to the Thunder, where their home fans booed SoCal native Paul George after he snubbed the team in the offseason.
Their sole win in LeBron's absence came against a Kings team that's now lost three straight. If the season ended today, they'd be the 8-seed, two games ahead of the aforementioned Kings, and two and a half games up on the Mavs and Grizzlies. If they can't beat a bad Knicks team tonight in New York, it's likely they'll be struggling to stay above .500 whenever LeBron does return to action.
While Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Denver's stand-in for a Charles Bukowski character Nikola Jokic, and a suddenly scorching James Harden jostle over the MVP award, LeBron's value to this young Lakers team can't be overlooked. Frankly, it can't be overlooked when having the GOAT discussion either.