The Los Angeles Lakers entered this season as the team to beat in the NBA. Besides being the reigning champions, they got way better in the offseason, adding players like Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and Marc Gasol.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the way to start the season in what looked like a somewhat easy path to the playoffs. Then, with Davis' injury, the team has been exposed, even by not-so-good rivals.
The Lakers have now dropped four games in a row without Davis in the lineup, and it's pretty clear that coach Frank Vogel needs to shake his rotation up, as they can't afford to slide in the standings ahead of the playoffs.
LeBron James Says This Losing Skid Won't Define The Lakers
So, following their tough loss to the Utah Jazz, LeBron James was clearly quite angry and frustrated. The King, however, knows that they're playing the long game and that this losing skid won't define them going forward:
"It's a tough stretch for us, but this won't define who we will be for the rest of the season or the long haul," James said, as quoted by Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation.
James continues to lead the race to win the MVP award this season with odds of +150. Should he win, he'd get his fifth award and would only need one more to tie Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time leader.
Then again, Davis' loss is a massive blow for their championship aspirations, and LeBron can't single-handedly will them into contention, as great as he is.
It's still early in the season and Lakers fans shouldn't panic just yet, but this stretch is pretty worrying. Hopefully, some of the role players will finally step up and help him defend the fort while The Brow can come back.