‘Time for me to adjust’: LeBron on doing more with Davis out injured

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Michael Mulford
·3 min read
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Every team hits a rough patch throughout the season. Whether shots stop falling, your defense collapses, or you get hit with the injury bug — every team has to overcome a challenging stretch. For the Lakers, that stretch is now.

Losers of three of their last four games including last night’s 96-94 nail-biter against the Miami Heat, it’s on LeBron James to right the ship with Anthony Davis on the shelf for roughly four weeks with a calf injury. “I think that’s what it all boils down to, and right now is another challenge for me to be able to adjust,” James said of stepping up in Davis’ absence after last night’s 2020 NBA Finals rematch.

This is simply what James has done his entire 18-year career; when his team hits a wall, he puts on his crown and his cape to save the day. Though for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, he says it’s up to the role players to have a ‘next man up mentality’ in Davis’ absence.

“I feel like the last couple games that’s been happening, putting a lot on Bron. We already know what we’re going to get out of him,” Caldwell-Pope said. “So all the rest of us, we’ve got to continue to just play hard and just play basketball and not worry about anything else.”

“They are doing their part – they’re doing their part and more,” James said of his teammates.

And for the most part this season in games without Davis, that they have, as the Lakers hold a 5-3 record in games the Kentucky product doesn’t play, including losing their last two games.

“Not having AD for a long period of time is something that we haven’t had over the last year and a half, and now it’s time for me to adjust again and see ways I can be even more effective to help this team win ball games. Because that is the sport that we’re in.”

This stretch will mark for the first lengthy period LeBron has had to play without Davis in their time as teammates. With Dennis Schroder also out the next two games due to health and safety protocols, it’s on both James, KCP, and the entire Lakers roster to fill the void and stay near the top of the Western Conference.

“We’re going to hold each other accountable, and everyone is picking up in AD’s absence,” James said.

“It obviously hasn’t resulted in wins these last two games, but we’re going to keep working on our habits and continue to be great for one another.”

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