LeBron James shut down after Charlotte Hornets game because… of course

Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets got hit with some unfortunate timing, as LeBron James has been ruled out for the season just after Friday’s game vs Charlotte.

Would the Charlotte Hornets have beaten the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night if LeBron James was out of the lineup? No one will ever know, but you can certainly make the case.

The Lakers have struggled without LeBron all season long, stemming from his Christmas Day groin injury he suffered against the Golden State Warriors. So, if James did not play against Charlotte, and with all the other injuries the team is dealing with, things could have been different.

We can not sit here and make excuses for the loss, though. This was a winnable game with or without LeBron James playing. The Hornets struggled defensively, allowing 129 points to a depleted team, and that’s why they lost.

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Los Angeles has been careful with James’ minutes late into the season, reducing his playing time and sitting him out from time to time with “load management” since they have nothing to play for.

Now, LeBron’s 2018-19 season is over, as the Lakers have officially ruled him out for the remainder of the regular season. Hornets fans would have loved for this announcement to have came before he dropped 27 points and nine assists on Buzz City.

The Lakers reasoning behind benching LeBron for the remainder of the season is so the future Hall of Famer can allow his groin to fully heal. Los Angeles wants him to be 100 percent healthy for the start of next season.

The Hornets are currently on the outside looking in of the playoff race, so each and every game is important. The Lakers loss didn’t eliminate them from playoff contention, but it certainly hurt, and made things even more difficult.

I said things get more difficult, and I wasn’t joking. Charlotte’s next match-up is against the Golden State Warriors tonight. Plus, it’s the first night of a back-to-back with the red hot Utah Jazz waiting in their home arena on Monday.

Charlotte could very well drop both of these games, but they could also very well steal both of these games. Anything can happen in the NBA. They need to put the last loss behind them and focus on the task at hand — doing whatever it takes to get into the playoffs.

That has been the goal all season long, and it’s not going to change now.

In the end, yeah, it would have been nice if LeBron sat out against the Hornets on Friday night. However, you can’t go back in time and change things, so the team just has to live with it and try to finish the season strong.

One good thing is that with the regular season nearly over, a lot of teams could be resting players prior to the playoffs.

If a team like Golden State or Toronto, who are firmly in the top two seeds of their respective conferences, decide to sit a star player like Stephen Curry or Kawhi Leonard out for rest, that would help Charlotte’s chances of getting a win.

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The Charlotte Hornets have seven games remaining in the season, so we will soon find out if they are playoff bound. Hopefully that loss to the Lakers does not come back to bite them in the end.