The Los Angeles Lakers may have succeeded to beat the reigning NBA champions Golden State Warriors in their first matchup in the 2018-19 NBA season, but they lost their best player, LeBron James, to an injury. After the game, James looked fine and remained in good spirit. The 33-year-old small forward also didn’t rule out the possibility that he would join the Lakers in their upcoming game against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.
However, an MRI result confirmed that LeBron James suffered a slight left groin strain and is currently listed day-to-day. Though the Lakers want James back as soon as possible, coach Luke Walton said that they will be cautious before letting him play again. Warriors superstar Stephen Curry echoed the same sentiment as Walton, saying that James should first make sure that he’s 100 percent recovered when he enters the court.
“You got to take those first four or five days, that was what my experience was, to make sure you don’t do any more damage,” Curry told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “You have to let the healing process start. That is one you can’t really rush. That is how I felt because it was such a delicate area.”
Stephen Curry definitely knows what he’s saying as he also suffered the same injury earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season. The moderate left groin strain forced Curry to miss 11 games. Luckily, during Curry’s absence, the Warriors still have three superstars – Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green – left on their roster.
Playing without LeBron James is definitely a tough challenge for the Lakers, especially knowing that he’s the only legitimate NBA superstar on their team. However, Lakers head coach Luke Walton doesn’t seem to be worried about James’ injury. Since they acquired him in the recent free agency, Walton revealed that they are already planning strategies that can help them win games even without James on the floor.
“Our team is much better now than we were to start the season,” Walton said, via Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “So, it will get a lot more challenging for us if he misses some real time, but I’m also very confident in our group that they’ll continue to step up and battle.”
The Lakers will undeniably miss LeBron James’ leadership and playmaking abilities, but his absence could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Purple and Gold. While James is recovering from an injury, the young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball will have the opportunity to prove that the Lakers aren’t just about LeBron. Aside from James, the Lakers will also be heading into their upcoming game against the Kings without veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, who suffered a right ring finger sprain during their game against the Warriors.