Anthony Davis’ status for Tuesday’s Lakers game against the Suns is uncertain. The Los Angeles star suffered a groin injury and had to leave Game 4 because of it. He didn’t come back, and that’s what is making him unlikely to play in a critical game 5 in a series that is tied 2-2.
Even with Davis likely unable to leave, the Lakers are confident they will still have a chance to beat the Suns. But to do that, they’ll need LeBron James to lead the charge.
And that seems like something he’s ready to do.
“These shoulders were built for a reason,” James said after Game 4 on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “So if I need a little more, then too bad. Win, lose or draw, I’m up to the challenge.”
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So far these playoffs, James is averaging 21.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game for the Lakers. The 21.8 points is his second-lowest playoff average of his career. The lowest was when he averaged just 17.8 points in six games against the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals.
That said, there is certainly room for potential improvement for James going forward, especially if he’s ready to shoulder some of Davis’ scoring load if the big man needs time to run out.
As Lakers coach Frank Vogel has said, getting more touches for James tends to be a bad thing for opposing teams.
“When I faced the Miami Heat, and either [Dwyane] Wade or [Chris] Bosh was absent, that meant more touches for Bron, ”said Vogel. “And it wasn’t always a good thing for my Pacers teams. “
Soon we’ll see when Davis is healthy enough to adjust.
However, as long as Davis is sidelined, LeBron James will look to take control of the game as he seeks to avoid losing a first-round playoff series for the first time in his legendary career.