Matt Barnes Believes LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ Absence Will Be Beneficial for Lakers in Playoffs

Published 04/15/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
Apr 13, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Andre Drummond (2) drives into Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller (40) during the second quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have shown that they can survive without LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the floor. Although inconsistent, they have been able to bring in victories and at least keep their position in the Western Conference intact.

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Earlier, when the two superstars got injured, it seemed like the Lakers were going to slide down even further in the standings. However, they’ve managed to keep their head above water. In fact, Matt Barnes seems to think that AD and Bron’s absence might actually be good for the team in a way.

The Lakers will benefit from AD and LeBron’s absence

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Standing fifth in the West with a 34-21 record, the Lakers have just won their matchup against the Charlotte Hornets. Although their road so far has been anything but easy, the team has surprised us. While we thought that they won’t be able to do anything without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, that is nowhere near the truth.

Although they still aren’t capable of facing the elite teams and win, Matt Barnes thinks what matters is that they’re not making the situation worst. And in fact, the two superstars’ absence will be an advantage for them.

On ESPN’s ‘The Jump’, Barnes stated, “They stayed above water and that’s what you want. Obviously missing two stars, the best duo in the game… But what I really like is that this is going to help come playoff time. These guys are all going to be in rhythm. It’s not going to take LeBron to get back in rhythm. We’re going to see how long it takes AD to get back in rhythm.”

However, Matt believes there is still something missing. “But they’re going to need a third guy. Whether it’s Kuzma, Schroder, it can be Harrell sometimes. To me, their most important aspect is being healthy. No matter how far they slide down if they’re healthy, they’re going to remain the favorites in the West,” he explained.

Los Angeles, CA, Tuesday, December 22, 2020 – Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) talk during a break in the action against the Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Gauthier/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

What went down against the Hornets?

The Lakers’ 99-93 win against the Hornets was off to a rough start. However, their defense in the third quarter helped them rally back, and it was Alex Caruso who was at the center on that end.

Along with his vital contributions in clutch moments, he added 13 points to the scoreboard. It was Caruso’s dagger that stole the show in the fourth quarter.

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Offensively, Kyle Kuzma led the way by dropping 24 points, which was followed by Dennis Schroder‘s 19 points. The disappointing performance came from Andre Drummond, who only finished with 4 points.

The Lakers will be up against the Boston Celtics next, a team which is in form and has won four games back to back will be nothing like Charlotte. Can the players keep the Lakers afloat even against them?

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Read also- WATCH: Lakers’ Superstar LeBron James Putting In The Work To Get Back To Full Fitness

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Yashima Bhatia

1309 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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