Stephen A. Smith doesn't think LeBron James can lead the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA title without his Hollywood co-star. Anthony Davis is out for at least a few weeks and Stephen A. thinks LA's championship aspirations are "compromised" as a result.
Here's what he had to say on ESPN's First Take this morning:
So basically, unless AD comes back fully healthy, Smith thinks the Lakers are going home early in the postseason. Fair enough, but not necessarily true.
I believe that would have been the case last season, but the Lakers are far deeper this year. With the additions of Dennis Schroeder, Montrezl Harrell, Wes Matthews, Marc Gasol and the emergence of Talen Horton-Tucker, it's a different, deeper roster. There's no way they can replicate what Davis does on both ends of the floor, but they have enough talent to alter what they do while he's gone and still win games.
The Lakers will have a difficult time without Davis, there's no question of that. And their chances of winning a title will drop significantly if he doesn't return this season. But LA has one trump card other teams are lacking: LeBron James. The four-time MVP has dragged worse rosters to the NBA Finals with regularity throughout his career. He's older now, but also has a more talented grouping this year and guys he can spread the ball around to.
Stephen A. is selling the Lakers' championship hopes. I'm at a solid hold right now. We'll see how they play without Davis over the next few weeks, and if they decide to make a move for another post player to lessen the blow of losing him.
In the end, I realized long ago that you should never count LeBron out.