The struggling team still has its fair share of star power.
The Lakers are underperforming for the second straight season. They currently sit at 14-20 as the 13th seed in the Western Conference, fighting to stay relevant in the playoff picture. Usually, a team like that wouldn’t have even one All-Star, let alone two. But the Lakers aren’t like most teams.
The Lakers are very top-heavy, led by superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Fully healthy, they actually were playing some pretty good basketball. But since Davis went down with a foot injury that’s going to sideline him indefinitely, they’ve gone just 2-4.
But still, with all that star power on top, the guys at Bleacher Report made some major predictions regarding the Lakers’ superstars. They predicted both of them make the All-Star team, one of them even being named a starter — but it may not be the one you think.
Among their five starter predictions in the Western Conference was none other than the sidelined Anthony Davis. Here’s what they had to say:
“Davis has done more than enough in the 25 games he’s played to justify a starting spot in the All-Star game.
“Top-five spots in catch-all metrics like Estimated Plus/Minus and FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR align with the legitimate MVP consideration Davis’ pre-injury play demanded. Though it would have been difficult for AD to secure his first MVP honor for a sub-.500 Los Angeles Lakers team, his statistical production and eye-test dominance were unquestionably All-Star-worthy.”
Before going down with the injury, Davis was averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. He was looking like one of the dominant players on both ends of the floor, and was playing like a true MVP and Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
That’s why, despite missing an indefinite amount of time, Bleacher Report had him in their All-Star starting five.
As for the reserve, I’m sure you can guess who that guy was. Yes, it was the soon-to-be 38-year-old LeBron James. Here’s a portion of what they said:
“There will come a day when James slips from All-Star status and has to get in on name recognition alone. We aren’t quite there yet, though.”
LeBron may not be as perfect as he’s been in past seasons, but he’s still averaging 27.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. He’s single-handedly trying to keep the Lakers alive without AD, and will probably only have better numbers with AD sidelined for the near future. LeBron will 100% be playing in the All-Star Game in February. The question is, will it be as a starter or a reserve?
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