KEY POINTS

  • LeBron James' return continues to leave NBA fans guessing
  • The Lakers have yet to allow James to participate in full on-court practices
  • The Lakers could fall to the play-in tournament if they are not careful

The Los Angeles Lakers are slowly getting back together, but a key piece in the form of LeBron James remains missing.

The four-time champion is still out of action although expectations are that the 36-year-old could be back soon.

Soon is a strong word right now for Lakers fans who are growing concerned about their NBA title-retention chances.

Anthony Davis is back in action, but it remains that “The Brow” cannot do it on his own. They do have a formidable backup cast, but chemistry is seen as an issue at the moment.

Hence, this also covers James who needs to get his rhythm back. His combo with Andre Drummond is also something that most are looking forward to see, especially once the NBA playoffs come around.

James is still recovering from a high ankle sprain but is reportedly making progress and may return, according to the OC register.

There are speculations that the 17-time All-Star could return as early as this weekend although most feel that next week would be more realistic.

Worth noting is that James has yet to get clearance for full on-court activities. Until that happens, insinuations that he can suit up as early as this weekend are doubtful.

However, all that could change in the coming days if the four-time NBA MVP starts grinding with his teammates.

Davis believes that the Lakers need to play with a sense of desperation if they are to make it back-to-back NBA titles.

Making the playoffs is already given, but there is a chance that the franchise could find themselves relegated to the play-in games.

As of this writing, the Lakers are at the fight spot of the Western Conference with a 36-26 record. They are five games behind the Denver Nuggets and only 1.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks.

NBA star LeBron James explained his deleting a tweet about the fatal police shooting of a 16-year-old Black girl by saying he wants to see accountability and not hate or anger reflected in social justice discusions NBA star LeBron James explained his deleting a tweet about the fatal police shooting of a 16-year-old Black girl by saying he wants to see accountability and not hate or anger reflected in social justice discusions Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Alex Goodlett

"So we have to start playing with a sense of desperation, even though we are in the playoffs as of right now. But we're not that far off from being in play-in games. So we've got to play with a sense of desperation, as well," Davis stated via ESPN.

First-year Lakers player Dennis Schroder offered a different take, saying that nothing much has changed for them.

He is confident that they will get better and are going to be fine in the postseason wars.

"I mean, nothing has changed. We're going to keep trying to get better, and, yeah, we're going to be fine for the playoffs," the German guard said.