How LeBron James' injury changes the NBA playoff and MVP races

What are the implications of LeBron James' high ankle sprain for the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA title defense and his hopes of winning a fifth MVP award?

After trying to play through the injury, suffered in the second quarter of Saturday's loss to the visiting Atlanta Hawks, James pulled himself out of the game and was later diagnosed with a high ankle sprain following an MRI. Although there's no specific timeline for James' return, a high ankle sprain is often a multiweek injury.

Can the Lakers, already playing without fellow All-Star Anthony Davis due to a calf strain and Achilles tendinosis in his right leg, fortify their roster before Thursday's trade deadline? And how will James' absence affect the MVP race? Let's answer the key questions in the wake of James' injury.