Only Cleveland has had a worse offense than Lakers with LeBron out

Only Cleveland has had a worse offense than Lakers with LeBron out

Only Cleveland has had a worse offense than Lakers with LeBron out

Making matters more complicated for the Lakers is the fact that they're missing second leading scorer Kyle Kuzma (lower back bruise) and Rajon Rondo (finger surgery) on top of James.

The forward was hurt during Wednesday's loss to the Thunder and was out of the game at halftime.

Kuzma is averaging 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in 38 games.

The Lakers entered the game with three straight losses, including a 22-point Sunday defeat at Minnesota, but Carlisle predicted that L.A.'s younger players would be motivated to prove they could win without James.

The Lakers are putting up 112.3 points per game on offense this season while shooting 47.4 percent from the field.

But Carter believes Kuzma is showing that he is capable of being a star alongside James beyond this season.

To the team's credit, James has already made progress. They've struggled offensively and the Lakers defense, while decent, hasn't been good enough to mask their struggles.

Even if he is deemed healthy in a week and is able to play January 11 at Utah, he will have missed eight games. The Mavericks entered the day tied for the fewest home losses in the National Basketball Association.

Brandon Ingram is starting to embrace his increased workload with Los Angeles, but it's clear that this team doesn't function almost as well with James on the sideline. As hungry as the Lakers have been to win and win now, more and more pressure is building for the Lakers to pull the trigger on a trade and send the big man to Tinseltown. "There's a tendency for it to "stick" with us and we've gotta get away from it".

A report from OnSmash.com last night suggested that the groin injury had actually transformed into a Sports hernia injury and would need at least another month of treatment before LeBron could get back onto the court. The Lakers have failed to cover in their last three as well.

Dallas fell for just the fourth time at home this season.

Related news