By Diego Marquez
The Los Angeles Lakers will have to deal without NBA All-Star veteran LeBron James for a couple more games due to a nagging hamstring injury. He has been suffering with the injury since Christmas Day, when they Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors. Being re-evaluated sometime this week, James will most likely have to sit out for games against Oklahoma and Houston, bringing the total of games missed due to the injury to 13. Prior to this absence, the King never missed more than 13 games in a row during his 15-year NBA career.
Since suffering the injury on Christmas Day, the Lakers have gone 4-7 with the King not in the lineup, and they also took down the Chicago Bulls 107-100 on Tuesday. The Lakers currently sit in the last and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings, sitting 6.5 of first-place Golden State Warriors. And, according to FiveThirtyEight, they have the second-most difficult strength of schedule, as they will have to take on the Warriors and Bucks twice, with Toronto and Denver once each.
Before the injury occurred, James was off to yet another outstanding start to his career with the Lakers. James is the sixth-leading scorer, sitting at 27.3 points per game along with 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists. If the playoffs were to start today, James would be guiding the Lakers to their first postseason berth in five years. Some good news broke on Monday, however, as the Lakers found out point guard Rajon Rondo has been cleared by doctors to resume dribbling with his right hand. He broke his hand on the same Christmas Day game that James suffered the hamstring injury. Rondo is expected to be out for another four to five weeks.