The Los Angeles Lakers will be dealing without either of their superstars during the coming weeks, as both LeBron James and Anthony Davis are out with injuries.
Magic Johnson, who won five rings as a Laker, admits he is nervous about the reigning NBA champions with James and AD being absent.
“It’s gonna be tough because we got a tough schedule and the West is so good,” Johnson said on ESPN’s First Take. “The problem is that you’re taking off both of not only our two superstars but our best two scorers and they also are best two creators for getting shots for other guys. So that becomes an issue for the team. They will play hard. Coach Vogel is a great coach. The guys will come out and compete.
“But the problem the West is just so good. We saw that the other night against Phoenix. The Lakers just didn’t have enough firepower to beat them. That’s gonna be our issue until AD and LeBron comes back.”
Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith then pressed Johnson to admit whether he is nervous about this year’s team. “Well, I’m nervous because when you have AD and LeBron out with injuries, that is a cause of concern,” the Lakers legend responded.
“And then I’m concerned about the middle two. We are not very good at shot blocking, the things we used to be good at with Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee. We can’t close the middle down this year. We don’t have that type of length on this team.
“So I hope that during this trade deadline or if somebody got bought out that we can solve that issue. But it’s gonna be tough for any team to beat the Lakers if they’re healthy four times in a playoff series. I still believe in the Lakers but the Lakers have competition this year that they didn’t have last season. We’re looking at the West with Utah, Denver, the Clippers. I think it’s still gonna come down to the Clippers and the Lakers for the West.”
Currently the Lakers are third in the Western Conference with 28 wins and 15 losses. The reigning NBA champions are on a two-game losing streak, having lost to the Hawks and the Suns most recently.