The return of the King resulted in a loss to the Kings. Much has been said about the Lakers’ resilience when they lost their two superstars to injury. Last season, they were criticized for being too dependent on LeBron James and Anthony Davis (why wouldn’t you), until they won the championship.

With an upgraded roster, it was interesting to see if the Lakers could survive without either or both of their top 7 players. They dropped in the standings, of course but not as much as their naysayers predicted. Thus, the excitement brewed on just how strong the Lakers will be when the superstars return.

Less than the sum of their parts

The Lakers acquired two players in the buyout — Andre Drummond and Ben McLemore. Both are lottery picks, which goes to show how tight it is to secure a roster spot in the NBA. They fill out universal needs — a strong inside presence and added outside shooting. They could’ve chosen any other team but they chose the Lakers.

The rotation of the Lakers is now much deeper but the only caveat is the playoffs are not about depth. Rotations can shrink to about eight players. Who would those be for the Lakers? James and Davis, Schroder is the lead point guard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell have all been regular starters and they are likely fixtures in the rotation.

Lakers’ fan favorites Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker may find themselves having reduced roles in favor of players like Wesley Matthews or McLemore. Drummond is also being groomed to take heavy minutes at the post to keep Anthony Davis for the other side of the court.

There are also Markieff Morris and Marc Gasol, not to mention Alfonso McKinnie. You can’t shuffle them all in the playoffs, as you need to keep your best players in rhythm. While depth is something to celebrate, especially when you consider how difficult it is to build a team with the new salary cap provisions, the playoffs are meant for superstars. In the final equation, the Lakers will still have two — just like last year when they won a championship.

Washed up?

“I knew I wasn’t going to get back to 100 percent. It’s impossible,” James said. “I don’t think I will ever get back to 100 percent in my career.”

Has LeBron James waved the white flag to Father Time? It was surprising how a high ankle sprain — which, to the ordinary spectator sounds mundane, would be the injury that would push the freak athlete to say such words.

Is LeBron on the way to Washed Zone, or is it just a decoy to throw off his defenders? He is 36 turning 37 near the end of the year. Most 37-year-olds are “Keep getting them cheques, guys,” having a huge or albatross contract that could actually hamper a team’s progress.

James is still too far from being washed and even at 90 percent, would still be one of the best on the planet. Fort the Lakers, any version of their King would be good enough.

Super scorer

Is scoring 50-points still something to celebrate? Of course, but the increased possessions and pace of the game has made it a common occurrence. The recent outburst of one Kevin Porter Jr. may have forced the hand of critics to take a closer look.

KPJ has no relation to Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets (duh, they can’t both be juniors with different names). Getting that out of the way, he was known to be a talented player with huge red flags for attitude. He was suspended indefinitely by the USC Trojans, then he got into a confrontation with Kobi Altman, the Cleveland Cavs manager.

Twenty-five years ago in the 1997-98 season, there were only three 50-point performances in the league. This year, there are already 14 instances of scoring 50 and above and it’s not even over yet. It’s not just stars like Steph Curry and Jayson Tatum. Players like Porter and Fred VanVleet are now in the 50-point crew.

Perhaps 100 is too much but Kobe Bryant’s 81 points is not impossible this season or the next.