Opinion: Can LeBron James carry Los Angeles Lakers in NBA playoffs without Anthony Davis?

LOS ANGELES – The Lakers’ star delayed Father Time with his blessed genes, impeccable talent and disciplined work habits.  With those same qualities, can LeBron James also keep the Lakers’ championship window open without Anthony Davis?

“These shoulders were built for a reason,” James said. “If it takes for me to put some more on top of it, then so be it. Win, lose or draw. I’m ready for the challenge.”

Neither the Lakers nor James were exactly ready for the challenge with adjusting immediately without Davis, who missed the entire second half of the Lakers’ 100-92 Game 5 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at Staples Center after straining his left groin. The Suns secured the win to tie the series, 2-2, after the Lakers floundered on offense in the third quarter. They mustered up only 15 points on 3-of-16 shooting during that stretch.

If the Lakers failed to win Game 4 without Davis, it is only fair to wonder if the Lakers can win the rest of their first-round series against Phoenix, let alone defend their NBA championship. There is a reason why James advocated so loudly for the Lakers to acquire Davis from New Orleans two years ago. There is a reason why the Lakers gave up significant pieces of their young roster along with draft picks to acquire Davis. Therefore, James conceded, “if he’s not ready for Game 5, it’s going to be a tough blow for our ball club.”

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