Published: Thu, February 28, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers star hits new milestone

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers star hits new milestone

The Lakers have been mediocre at best this season, have virtually no chemistry after LeBron's antics with the Anthony Davis rumors at the deadline, and are floundering, as they now sit three games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Celtics great Paul Pierce suggested the Lakers star was still injured and the franchise shouldn't even risk him for this season, considering even if they do make the playoffs it will be a short stay.

And the Lakers' 0-2 road trip quickly erased any momentum they hoped to have generated from their 19-point comeback victory over the Houston Rockets in their first game out of the All-Star break last week.

Fast forward to the 2018-19 season, and James is in a different conference, wearing the iconic Los Angeles Lakers' purple and gold and in almost the same situation.

Much like the team he inherited after being chosen by the Cavaliers in 2003, James has had to work from the ground up to get a team to the playoffs in the midst of a postseason drought. James made sure to show it on the court.

A chastening sequence of results has included the heaviest defeat of James' career, a 136-94 pounding by the Indiana Pacers, as well as losses to lower-ranked opponents who have little to play for.

James later appeared to question his team-mates' focus after Monday's 110-105 reverse in Memphis, suggesting that any player unable to cope with the pressure of chasing a playoff berth should find another club. That courtship created a circus-like atmosphere around the Lakers, targeting numerous Lakers' younger players like Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, all who were mentioned in possible packages to acquire Davis. Put simply, Ball does not make much of an impact either way according to that stat, but Rondo makes a noticeably negative impact.

After the game, LeBron was asked if the continuing speculation about the Lakers' playoff chances was affecting his team and was very blunt in his answer.

"Age, attrition or injury, something is not right. He doesn't look like himself".

The Milwaukee Bucks are next at 7/1, followed by the Toronto Raptors at 8/1.

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