Lakers: LeBron James’ Minutes Changing? Analyst Reveals Scenario

Getty Lakers star LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers are playing inspired basketball.

Sitting at 12-2 they are in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference.

A huge reason?

The play of their All Star LeBron James.

In Los Angeles’ win against the Oklahoma City Thunder the other night, James tallied a triple-double with an impressive stat line: 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Anthony Davis compliments James’ game. In Tuesday’s win, Davis tallied 34 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks in the victory over OKC.

The Lakers are riding high. BUT, it is an 82 game season.

Will James need a minutes restriction at some point?

I checked in with the Washington Post’s Ben Golliver on the Scoop B Radio Podcast and discussed it.

Check out a snippet from our Q&A below:

Brandon Scoop B’ Robinson: I worry about the Lakers burning out…

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Ben Golliver: Yeah, for sure! And we saw it happen last year too. People forget that the Lakers were pretty good before Christmas, right? And then LeBron goes down and everything falls apart. So I worry about LeBron’s pacing and where there will be a situation down the stretch of the season where they feel like they have done enough good work where they can give LeBron some time off, I think that can make some sense going into the playoffs and also with Anthony Davis we’ve seen a little bit of bumps and bruises already he did sit out one game. It didn’t sound like it was super serious with his rib but of course you want to make sure that he is in pristine health because they’re such a different team to me I think that roster is pretty top heavy with their top 2 players. If either of those guys is kind of limited, their winning formula changes to me and I guess if I compare the Clippers to the Lakers I like the Clippers depth quite a bit more than I like the Lakers depth. But as long as they’re healthy and good to go going into the postseason, they are really going to be a tough out for basically everybody. So I think that while they’re not going to play that load management game, and LeBron says look I’m healthy I want to play, I do think it could get to the point where we got a seed locked up and it’s April or it’s late March, maybe they get sort of creative how they handle minutes a little bit just to make sure those guys are fresh.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: And I’ll add when you look at, you talked about load management, and you talked about the Lakers and particularly Anthony Davis but one thing I’ll add is he played the Warriors. He could have sat out that game, he was fine… [laughs]

Ben Golliver: Right right, yeah… I know the Warriors are such a mess. I mean Steve Kerr was like, “One of our mantras was always to try get three stops in a row on defense. I don’t think we stopped L.A. three times in a row the entire game.” And I was sitting there thinking no I’m pretty sure you didn’t, you barely even stopped them twice in a row. So it was like a practice. Like varsity vs JV. LeBron only had to play 26 minutes. The Warriors are single greatest example that I can remember of how quickly fortunes can change in the NBA. You go from a team that’s consistently winning 67, 73 wins per year, and now they’re going to lucky if they get to 20-25?