LOS ANGELES — First, the obvious disclaimer. The Lakers are not better without Anthony Davis.
So spare those takes just because the Lakers had a 128-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday at Staples Center, which marked the team’s third consecutive win while Davis stayed sidelined with continued soreness in his lower tailbone area.
Nonetheless, the Lakers have shown within a small sample size some big-picture implications on how they have adjusted.
Lakers still can lean on LeBron
The Lakers may miss Davis’ inside dominance and defense. Even if they do not want to put too much more strain on James, he has shown he can handle an extra burden in the short term.
Two days after missing Saturday’s game in Oklahoma City with flu-like symptoms, LeBron James had 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting and eight assists against Cleveland. And against Dallas on Friday, James powered the Lakers with 35 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.
“He’s always in attack mode. But he’s probably a little bit more when AD is out,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s going to do whatever it takes to win, whether it’s getting his teammates involved or being assertive and looking…