Even 17 years into his legendary NBA profession, LeBron James nonetheless faces new challenges. This 12 months, COVID-19 put a pause on the sports activities world and has pressured the NBA to renew play within the bubble. The Los Angeles Lakers could maintain the No. 1 seed, however they failed to seek out any consistency since returning to motion in Orlando.
Still, that didn’t cease Rob Pelinka from delivering a terrifying assertion about his greatest star. And if the Lakers basic supervisor’s phrases maintain true, the remainder of the NBA higher be ready for a deadly model of King James.
LeBron James simply wrapped up one other unbelievable season
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When LeBron James seems to be again at his NBA profession, he’ll always remember the 2019-20 season. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the 35-year-old completed the 12 months with terrific numbers throughout the board.
Though James’ scoring common dropped to 25.3 (his lowest since 2015-16), he nonetheless shot 49.3% from the sphere. He additionally hit slightly below 35% of his 3-point makes an attempt, which really represented an enchancment over final season’s ugly 33.9% mark.
James took on a extra outstanding position because the workforce’s major ball-handler this season. Operating as extra of a degree guard, the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder led the NBA with 10.2 assists per contest. For a participant who’s additionally his workforce’s major scorer, that exhibits simply how a lot of an affect James has with the ball in his fingers.
However, the Lakers as a complete didn’t ship great outcomes down the stretch. After taking down the Clippers of their first sport in Orlando, LA misplaced all however two of its closing seven video games.
Lakers GM sends terrifying message about LeBron
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For LeBron James, the common season means little. After all, he didn’t threaten Michael Jordan’s GOAT standing due to his regular-season numbers or All-Star berths. Rather, The Chosen One will get judged on his means to ship NBA titles.
James has already received three rings, however his legacy will come down as to whether he can comply with in Kobe Bryant’s footsteps as a champion in LA. Though the Lakers confirmed loads of rust of their return to motion, GM Rob Pelinka envisions huge issues forward for his squad. Specifically, Bryant’s former agent delivered a terrifying message about LeBron James and his playoff mentality in an look on Spectrum SportsNet.
“You spend time around the great greats, not just the greats but some of the greatest to ever play, and when it gets close to playoff time, those guys get so locked in,” Pelinka stated. “It’s just another level of the mental approach, the physical approach, the mindset. And you can see it in LeBron. He’s locked in to a mission.”
Pelinka witnessed Bryant grow to be an NBA legend due largely to his insatiable need to win. And by the sound of it, LeBron James has the same focus as he begins one other playoff journey.
“He’s got one thing in sight,” Pelinka defined. “He wants to bring a title home to the Lakers and he’s going to do everything within his power to do it.”
Will the Lakers obtain their NBA title dream?
A locked-and-loaded LeBron James ought to terrify the remainder of the NBA. But if the Lakers plan on internet hosting a title celebration this 12 months, they’ll want the remainder of their lineup to step up rapidly.
Anthony Davis would be the X-factor this postseason. The dynamic huge man averaged 26.1 factors, 9.Three rebounds, and a couple of.Three blocks in his first season as a Laker. However, the 6-foot-10, 253-pounder has performed simply 13 postseason video games since going No. 1 general in 2012.
Davis has struggled to seek out consistency for the reason that NBA season resumed in late July. After placing up 34 factors in opposition to the Clippers, he contributed simply 14 on 2-of-7 capturing in a loss to the Toronto Raptors. Davis additionally didn’t impress in poor efforts in opposition to the Oklahoma City Thunder (9 factors on 3-of-11 capturing) and the Indiana Pacers (Eight factors on 3-of-14 capturing).
The Lakers want rather more from the perennial All-Star as they start their journey for an additional championship. But can Davis make a fast turnaround because the playoffs get underway? If not, a red-hot Damian Lillard may lead the Portland Trailblazers to an upset over the top-seeded Lakers.
But on the finish of the day, LeBron James stays the trump card. As lengthy as he’s wholesome and targeted, not even Lillard can cease the four-time NBA MVP. Let’s simply see if The King will get some assist from his teammates, or if the Lakers’ supporting solid will proceed to battle because the NBA playoffs start.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.