The absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis will hurt the Los Angeles Lakers in terms of standings. According to a former NBA champion Richard Jefferson, the team will for sure drop in the Western Conference while playing without its two superstars.
However, the Lakers would still be the team to beat even if they drop to as low as the 7th or 8th place in he West, says Matt Barnes.
“Yes, they’re going to drop. They lost four in a row when Schroder and AD were out,” Jefferson said on ESPN’s The Jump. “This is when they had the leading guy in MVP in Bron. So with both those guys out it’s just going to be just hold on and hold on.”
Matt Barnes, another former NBA champion, echoed Jefferson’s comment. “They’re definitely going to slide. I can see them sliding to six, possibly seven. But I’m not as worried. I think their focus is obviously picking up someone like Drummond would be huge but getting AD and Bron healthy because normally home court advantage matters but in this pandemic it doesn’t really matter. To me to see the Lakers at six or seven would scare one, two or three to death.
“To me their health is most important. AD worries me a little bit more than LeBron. Anytime you have that calf achilles injury that’s scary especially when you’re still a young player. We know LeBron is going to come back strong. So getting these two guys strong and healthy as they can possibly be heading into the playoffs is key for the Lakers.”
The Lakers are currently on a three-game losing streak which puts them in the fourth place in the Western Conference with 28 wins and 16 losses. Behind them are the Nuggets (26-18), the Trail Blazers (25-18), the Mavericks (23-19) and the Spurs (22-19).