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Dub Hub, Daily Warriors Links for 2/28/23: LeBron James out indefinitely amidst Western Conference playoff race

Rounding up all the Warriors and NBA news from around the web. 

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Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Good Morning Dub Nation,

With about 20 games left in the regular season, the Golden State Warriors find themselves right in the middle of a crowded Western Conference standings. This season has been unlike most others as the difference between a top four seed and a team just outside of the play-in is a mere 3.5 game difference.

With added importance attached to each of the remaining games, it’s crucial that teams get the most out of their stars in order to play at their highest level down the stretch. While the Warriors received some good news on that front on Monday, the same can’t be said of their Pacific Division rivals to the south: the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Shams Chanrania of The Athletic, the Lakers are expected to be without superstar forward LeBron James for an “extended period of time’ due to a right foot injury.

James suffered the injury against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday but was able to return as the Lakers completed a 27-point comeback. James was having a phenomenal season up to this point, averaging 29.5 points, 6.9 assists, and 8.4 rebounds per game. He was voted All-Star captain for the sixth time in a row and recently became the all-time leading point scorer in NBA history, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s mark of 38,387 points on Feb. 7.

After a series of impactful trade deadline moves, the Lakers were beginning to look like a team threatening to make a late push for the playoffs. Currently ranked 12th in the West, Los Angeles was only a half game away from the final play-in spot and only two games behind the Warriors who are seventh in the standings.

The news of James’ injury puts a huge damper on these playoff odds. Although the Lakers still have eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis and a bevy of quality role players at their disposal, it’s hard to imagine them making any serious noise without the centerpiece of whom their team was built around.

From the perspective of Golden State, they play against the Lakers in Los Angeles this coming Sunday on March 5th. After beating them in the season opener, the Warriors lost their last two in a row against the Lakers. Their upcoming matchup was expected to have massive playoff seeding implication — which can possibly still be the case — but the injury to James lowers these expectations while serving as a precautionary tale that all teams are just one big injury away from having their seasons drastically altered.

Here are the rest of today’s stories:

In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:

Other Warriors News:

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