Just a couple of weeks ago, a lot of people were talking about how LeBron James should be back at the top of the MVP conversation. After several years of being left out, it seemed like The King could actually win the award in his 18th season.
Then, Anthony Davis suffered an Achilles injury that has quite exposed the Los Angeles Lakers, and while it's clear that LeBron James is by far one of the greatest players in the NBA, it seems like Davis' impact this season was bigger than most people realize.
In fact, the Lakers are just an average team when Davis isn't on the court, and they've been exposed over the past couple of weeks with losses to subpar teams like the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards.
The Los Angeles Lakers Are An Average Team Without Anthony Davis
Since trading for Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers are just 38 and 34. That unimpressive .528 winning percentage would be just good enough to get the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
Davis will be sidelined at least until the All-Star break but some believe that this nagging injury can hold him back until the playoffs. Clearly, the Lakers need his impact on both ends of the floor to defend their title.
Right now, bookmakers believe that The King is the frontrunner to win the MVP award, giving him +150 odds. He's ahead of Joel Embiid (+350), and Nikola Jokic (+550); according to FanDuel; but those odds are likely to take a dip if the Lakers don't get it together soon.
Obviously, LeBron James can't win on his own. No one can, and that shouldn't stain his legacy or the incredible numbers he's posting at age 36. But maybe, just maybe, he's not the most valuable player on his team anymore, and that's fine.