Lakers' LeBron James: 'Time for Me to Adjust Again' with Anthony Davis Out

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, tries to pass as Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

With the Los Angeles Lakers losing two straight and three of their four games since Anthony Davis suffered a strained Achilles, LeBron James knows it's on him to shoulder a larger burden turning things around.

"I think that's what it all boils down to, and right now is another challenge for me, to be able to adjust," James told reporters after Saturday's 96-94 loss to the Miami Heat. "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 ballgames. Because that is the sport that we're in.

"We're in the winning business, and I've always been a winner. So, it's time to click into that."

James struggled in Saturday's NBA Finals rematch, shooting just 7-of-21 in a 19-point, nine-rebound, nine-assist performance. He's made only three of his last 23 shots from three-point range and is shooting 25 percent from distance in February.

The Lakers have also been without Dennis Schroder their last two games (health and safety protocols). Teammates have said they are putting too great of an onus on LeBron with Davis and Schroder out of the lineup.

"I feel like the last couple games that's been happening, putting a lot on Bron," Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. "We already know what we're going to get out of him. 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."

James disagreed with the sentiment, saying the team's role players have done "their part and more" and that it's on him to step up with the Lakers shorthanded.

Davis will almost certainly be out of the lineup at least through the All-Star break, so the Lakers will have time to adjust to their new one-star outlook. Four of their six remaining games before the midseason break are against Western Conference teams currently in the playoffs, so LeBron and Co. will be tested in the coming weeks.