Lakers' LeBron James Says It's Not Weird to Play Injury-Plagued Warriors

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 14, 2019

Lebron James (R) of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles under pressure from Glen Robinson (L) of the Golden State Warriors during the regular season at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 13, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers, who own a Western Conference-best 9-2 record, crushed the 2-10 Golden State Warriors 120-94 on Wednesday as LeBron James posted 23 points and 12 assists.

After the game, James was asked whether it was strange to play in a blowout against the Warriors, who won three championships in five years before injuries and departures torpedoed their 2019-20 season.

James offered the following response:

His closing remarks in the video are in reference to the 2015 NBA Finals in which his Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Warriors in six games.

Cavs power forward Kevin Love missed the entire championship round with a dislocated left shoulder, and point guard Kyrie Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap in the overtime period of Game 1.

James has carried his fair share of short-handed NBA teams over the years (either because of injuries and/or the performance of his teammates), some of them to great heights.

Therefore, it's understandable that he doesn't find it odd to face a short-handed Warriors team, even if it is playing without a pair of superstar guards in Stephen Curry (broken left hand) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL).

The Lakers were a bit short-handed themselves Wednesday sans big man Anthony Davis (ribs, shoulder injuries) on Wednesday, although his absence was not an obstacle toward victory.

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But the Lakers' success and the Warriors' downfall symbolizes a considerable amount of upheaval in the Western Conference.

The Phoenix Suns were a West-worst 19-63 in 2018-19, but they are currently tied for seventh at 6-4 with the Dallas Mavericks, who finished 33-49 last season.

The third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers are 4-8, and the Utah Jazz are threatening for the No. 1 seed.

Los Angeles holds that spot after a 37-45 mark last year, while the Warriors have dropped 14 spots from first to last.

There's a considerable amount of player-personnel turnover in the NBA season after season, so standings shake-ups aren't uncommon, but the amount seen in the West is unique even by the Association's standards.

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