The Lakers’ most recent victory required LeBron James to play 40 minutes.
“If Bron plays like this, we want him to play 48 minutes,” guard Austin Reaves said.
Actually, the Lakers don’t.
James will celebrate his 39th birthday next month, which makes his logic-defying early-season efforts as disconcerting as they are promising.
The Lakers are as dependent on James as ever.
This season was supposed to be different, with the Lakers expecting their improved depth to decrease their reliance on James and allow them to better manage his workload.
Read more: LeBron James sends a message to Dillon Brooks and Rockets, scoring 37 in Lakers’ win
That’s not what has happened.
What does this mean for his ability to stay healthy? How much will he have left in the tank for the playoffs?
The Lakers don’t have the luxury to ask those questions right now.
James scored 37 points Sunday night in a 105-104 victory over the Houston Rockets. He scored 35 in the game before that, a win on the road over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
He has made 50% or more of his shots in every game he has played except one. He’s averaging 26.4 points.
“The LeBron we’ve all come to know and love over these 21 years,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said.
The Lakers have won five of their last six games, but they still don’t look right. As well as James has played, why are they only 8-6?
They returned the nucleus of a team that reached the Western Conference finals, only to revert to how they looked before general manager Rob Pelinka reconfigured the roster before the trade deadline last season.
“Last year, we made a big run and the main guys came back,” forward Rui Hachimura said. “We’ve still been building our chemistry. We’re still trying to figure it out. I think we’re getting better. I can feel it.”
For now, the Lakers are back to being a two-man team, with James and Anthony Davis the only players who can be counted on.
Point guard D’Angelo Russell is either really good or really bad and rarely anything in between. That’s also the case with Hachimura, who sat out four games earlier in the season while in the league’s…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/hern-ndez-lakers-lebron-james-145758608.html
Author : LA Times
Publish date : 2023-11-20 14:57:58
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