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LeBron James Talks Lakers' 11-9 Record amid Injuries: 'I Have No Idea What We Are'

Adam Wells

Fans and analysts aren't the only ones struggling to figure out exactly how good the Los Angeles Lakers are amid their 11-9 start to the season that has seen some key players miss time due to injuries.

Speaking to reporters after Thursday's 133-110 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James openly admitted he doesn't know what this Lakers team is capable of yet.

"I have no idea what we are," James said. "How? We don't have a group yet. I know what some of us individually are, but as far as a team, we don't have our group yet. I don't know."

The good news for Los Angeles is James and Anthony Davis have been able to stay healthy thus far. They have both missed just one of the team's first 20 games. D'Angelo Russell, Christian Wood and Austin Reaves have played in every game.

Everyone else on the roster has missed at least two games. Jaxson Hayes sat out against the Thunder due to a wrist injury. Cam Reddish has been unavailable in four of the past five games with a groin issue. Rui Hachimura hasn't played since Nov. 22 due to a nasal fracture that required surgery.

While the Lakers' record is fine overall, their path to it has left a lot of people frustrated in trying to figure out if they are good, bad or mediocre.

They went 4-0 in group play during the in-season tournament, but three of those four wins were over the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz. Those three teams have a combined record of 16-38.

The Lakers have alternated wins and losses in each of their last five games. Their victories have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons. The losses came at the hands of the Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Los Angeles is plus-19.2 points per 100 possessions with an expected wins total of plus-42 when James is on the floor. The team completely craters when he's not on the floor.

This is the problem that general manager Rob Pelinka and the front office have been trying to figure out for several years. It doesn't appear they have found an answer yet, at least through 20 games this season.

The Lakers will look to get back on track when they host the Houston Rockets at Arena on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET.


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