LeBron James out for Lakers-Nuggets with ankle injury

LeBron James in Lakers-Nuggets
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers look bad and sound worse.

But if they enter the playoffs with a healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they’re a championship contender. Those stars can overcome a dire situation – again, if they’re healthy.

About that…

The Lakers announced LeBron would miss tonight’s game against the Nuggets with a right ankle sprain.

LeBron just missed 20 games with a high right ankle sprain. If a brief absence heals LeBron’s ankle, it’s well worth it – even if the Lakers fall into the play-in tournament.

But it’s far from assured sitting a game or two will get LeBron healthy. Especially at his age, needing to miss another game is a bad sign.

Without LeBron and Dennis Schroder (coronavirus protocols), the Lakers are missing their top offensive initiators. Anthony Davis has improved significantly as a creator, both for himself and others. But he still gets set up frequently for such a prolific scorer.

The Lakers, with their strong defense, can try to claw out wins down the stretch and avoid the play-in.

But establishing more rhythm entering the playoffs? That’ll be tough.

Becoming a championship-caliber team again? That’ll be impossible until LeBron gets healthy.