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.
Sources: There's fear Lakers star LeBron James is likely to miss an extended period of time with his right foot injury. James suffered the injury in Sunday's win over Dallas, played through it, and belief is he will be sidelined an indefinite amount.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 28, 2023
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:
- Preview: Warriors battle Blazers in Chase Center
- Draymond’s MRI comes back clear, probable vs. Blazers
- Player grades: Warriors vs. Wolves
- Steve Kerr praises Klay Thompson’s leadership after big win against Timberwolves
- Elevator Ride: How Klay Thompson used a classic Warriors set to defeat the Timberwolves
Other Warriors News:
- Warriors’ Steve Kerr hopes Jordan Poole one-on-one chat pays dividends (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Klay Thompson calls himself ‘modern-day Reggie’ Miller, compares mentalities (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Thompson: Klay Thompson’s play has given the Warriors reason for optimism (The Athletic)
- Warriors’ Andre Iguodala Says Stephen Curry Is ‘Closest Thing to Jesus Christ’ (Bleacher Report)
- Warriors Twitter already speculating about Nerlens Noel after Pistons buyout (ClutchPoints)
- LeBron James (right foot) likely out multiple weeks, per sources: What this means for Lakers’ playoff chances (The Athletic)
- NBA, NBPA progressing in talks on reaching new CBA: Sources (The Athletic)
- Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball fractures right ankle (NBA)
- Damian Lillard making claim as NBA’s most dangerous offensive player (Basketball News)
- The same Mavericks’ flaws have haunted them all season (SB Nation)