Despite starting up his 17th season in the NBA, LeBron James routinely has shown that father time doesn’t seem to have all too much of an effect on his game. After throwing down an absolute sledgehammer of a dunk, James flashed his defensive chops as he took off after second-year player Landry Shamet for a VINTAGE James chase-down block.
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Lakers’ LeBron James Stuffs Landry Shamet With Insane Block
James’ play was instrumental in helping the Lakers put together a big finish to the third quarter – leading to a game deadlocked in an 85-85 tie heading into the fourth. At the time of the block, James was in the midst of a huge night and would finish the third quarter with 16 points, six assists, and five rebounds to go with his block and a steal.
James missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons last year with the Lakers and is hoping a newly built team featuring Anthony Davis is able to help him get back to the NBA Finals, where he had previously made eight consecutive appearances for the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Lakers Eyeing Playoffs for First Time in Six Seasons
Having last made the playoffs during Dwight Howard‘s first stint with the team in the 2012-2013 season, the Lakers are hoping their new duo of James and Anthony Davis can help bring them back to where the franchise belongs. Winners of 16 NBA titles – second most to the Boston Celtics in NBA history – the Lakers’ absence has been felt. Most notably, TV ratings took a major hit last season when LeBron James and the Lakers missed the playoffs.
James and Davis looked the part of a playoff-ready duo in the preseason putting together an astounding +31 net rating across the four games they shared the court. With LeBron at full health having a generational scoring talent to feed, the Laker offense has a chance to be truly scary. With a pair of shooters flanking James & Davis at all times along with an athletic lob threat in JaVale or Dwight in the dunker spot, the Lakers offense features a number of different ways to beat you and consistent, reliable threats outside of their superstars.
This roster depth is a far cry from previous years, where the Lakers hoarded young prospects and essentially accumulated a pile of assets they would wind up using in the trade to land Anthony Davis. Specifically with the roster around LeBron James last season, this roster seems much better suited to his strengths and gives the Lakers a much better chance to not only make the playoffs but make some noise if/when they get there.
While picking up a win in the first game of the season isn’t necessary to make the playoffs (obviously), every win matters in a loaded Western Conference and an early statement against their Staples Center roommates would go a long ways towards helping to establish cohesion among a roster featuring so many new faces.