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As we mentioned previously, the Los Angeles Lakers will be missing their most important player, 36-year-old All-Star forward LeBron James, for a minimal total of at least 10 days after the vaccinated future Hall of Famer reportedly came down with an asymptomatic case of COVID-19.

After breaking the news that James had entered the NBA's health and safety protocols for COVID-19, Shams Charania of The Athletic added that James would miss at least 10 days of activity with LA. Sources informed Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that they anticipated James to be unavailable for "several games." Woj noted that players diagnosed with the novel coronavirus this season, per NBA rules, will be held out for 10 days following their diagnosis. Following that, if they continue to be asymptomatic, they can rejoin their squads.

James has had an up-and-down year already by his Hall of Fame standards. He has missed more games (12) than he's played (11), he is settling for jumpers more than ever before in his shot diet, and his rebounding and free-throw shooting rates have slumped to career lows. That said, the 19-year vet is still averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 assists, and the aforementioned 5.2 rebounds this season, while shooting 48.4% from the floor, 34.4% from long range, and 75.5% from the charity stripe. Not too shabby for an old guy.

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The Lakers did survive their first test following the news in resounding fashion. Los Angeles beat the Kings, in Sacramento, in a dominant 117-92 blowout victory on Tuesday night. 

LA's road will be getting significantly tougher in the days to come, as the Lakers will face off against the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies before James could conceivably return ahead of a rematch against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 10th. The Thunder, as I'm sure you'll remember, have given LeBron-less Lakers teams trouble before this season.

In the absence of James and starting shooting guard Avery Bradley, head coach Frank Vogel promoted Talen Horton-Tucker and Wayne Ellington into the starting lineup. Vogel also felt compelled to dust off Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo from their recent banishment to the DNP-CD bin. Rondo played for a bit more than eight minutes, but Howard proved a massive presence for the club, playing nearly 31 more minutes than ostensible starting center DeAndre Jordan and nabbe 12 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the Sacramento win.