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What does LeBron's injury mean to the young Lakers now?



OAKLAND, Calif. – The Los Angeles Lakers have won a win at Christmas and have also received a test: Can they continue to go in the right direction when LeBron James' groin muscle loses track of time? [19659002″”DiesistoffensichtlicheinunerschlossenesGebietindieserGruppe”sagteLakers-TrainerLukeWaltonnachdembeeindruckendenSiegseinerMannschaftgegendieGoldenStateWarriors(127-101)”AberdasistesworüberwirgesprochenhabenDiesistwaswirzuplanenversuchen-nichtdass[James] is injured, but to be able to play and win if he is not on the ground.

"This is a process and our team is much better than at the beginning of the season, so it will be a lot harder for us if he misses some time, but I am also very confident in our group that they will continue to fight and fight

It is not known how long James will be out or if he will be outside at all.

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"The good The muscle is intact," James said to ESPN after the victory on Tuesday night.

He was generally in a good mood and would not rule out playing Thursday at the Sacramento Kings, though the results of an MRI on Wednesday will determine exactly how plausible that will be. If James is not in the lineup, the Lakers suddenly face the challenge that the Cleveland Cavaliers could face never finding out about the past four seasons: win without James.

The Cavs were a miserable 4-2 win in games James missed in this span for either rest or injury – 3-10 in 2014-15. 1-5-1 2015-16 and 0-8 2016-17. The only reason Cleveland did not hurt again last season was the fact that James played in all 82 games.

A rough spot with James out could detoxify the work of the Lakers through their 20:14 start this season and reward the team's No. 4 in the highly competitive Western Conference standings.

With the Houston Rockets skyrocketing (7-1 in their last eight games), a few bad weeks – say a 1-7 distance – could quickly make LA fall out of the playoff picture, at least temporarily ,

"That's what we're trying to plan – not that [LeBron James] will be hurt, but will be able to win and fight if he's not on the ground." Lakers coach Luke Walton said. Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

The Lakers had the misfortune of suspending Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram as well as long-term injuries that Rondo, Ingram and JaVale McGee had suffered this season. Of course, none of these players fits in with James & # 39; s contributions. Nobody has gone through so much of the offense. No one can dictate the team's expense game to a game like James. But some experiences in dealing with adversity are better than none.

"We've missed people all year," said Lakers guard Lonzo Ball. "Of course LeBron is a big part of this team … We have a lot of good people in this team and we were confident all year round. It's not just a player in this team, we have a good team. [19659002] "Of course we want him back as soon as possible, but as long as he misses him, if he misses him, we have to do our thing." [19659002] They all did their thing against the Warriors, as six players Unlike James (17 points), he scored double-digit, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored nearly seven points with his nine points.

It's no exaggeration to compete To designate as the biggest players in the game on Tuesday, such as Ball, Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and Josh Hart have ever featured in a marquee match against all-stars stacked back-to-back champions on Christmas day took part. In addition, they not only defeated but also defeated James for the second half. The warriors on their home court pushed the lead to 31 points after Golden State briefly reduced James to two points.

Part of James' plan to join L.A. has always been to find a graceful way to offset his inevitable decline while still competing thanks to his younger teammates. Nobody would have thought that the balance would have to be found so quickly, but here we are. Or here we could be depending on this MRI result. The support wheels could fall off.

"I mean, we did not panic because he's gone," Kuzma said. "We're professionals too, we're great players on the way to being great players, it's about the next mentality and the will to win."


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