LeBron James has missed the past five games for the Los Angeles Lakers due to an adductor strain, but it seems as though he's nearing his return to the lineup. On TNT's broadcast of Wednesday's game between the Lakers and Phoenix Suns, Chris Haynes reported that James will make his return to the lineup in their next game on Friday, when the Lakers travel to San Antonio to face off with the Spurs.
James has been out for five games, and the Lakers have held their own without him. They are 3-2 in that stretch after opening the season with a 2-9 record. Anthony Davis has picked up the slack in that stretch, averaging 32.6 points and 17.4 rebounds per game since James has been out.
, Davis has looked like his old self recently, and the Lakers have benefitted tremendously from his return to form.
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Even with Davis playing this well, the Lakers need James if they plan to claw their way back into the playoff picture. Their three wins without him have come against the Pistons, Nets and Spurs, all relatively easy opponents. The Lakers simply lack the star power and supporting shooting to keep up with the NBA's best teams with only Davis, and the Suns proved that Tuesday by defeating them.
James is coming back in a moment that could help the Lakers build some momentum. They finish the month of November with two games against the Spurs, one against the Pacers and one against the Trail Blazers. If they can win three or four of those games, they'll be within striking distance of .500 and the season will appear salvageable. If LeBron can stay healthy, it just might be.