The first three games back after the NBA suspension haven’t always been pretty for LeBron James. The 17-year veteran isn’t putting up his usual gaudy stats that the world is used to. While it could be a little concerning for the Los Angeles Lakers that LeBron is off to a slow start, it shouldn’t be all that surprising given the circumstances.
First of all, the seeding games don’t really matter for the team and now that LeBron is older, he’s going to need some time to knock off the rust. Despite his slow start, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson had a big proclamation about his former teammate.
“LeBron Raymone James Sr. is definitely the best player in the NBA, hands down,” Thompson said on ESPN’s Speak for Yourself. “Loud and proud. Yes, [Marcellus] Wiley, I’m saying it. I’m saying it and everyone knows it. Everyone that watches basketball knows it.”
In the first game back against the Clippers, LeBron scored the game-winning bucket and locked down Paul George and Kawhi Leonard down the stretch. His stats picked up a bit in the Lakers’ win over the Utah Jazz on Monday. LeBron is much older now but there’s been no indication he’s not ready for a big playoff run.
LeBron Has Massive Praise for Anthony Davis
LeBron is the team’s leader, but if the Lakers want to win the championship, they need Anthony Davis is play at a high level. Fortunately, after a rough outing against the Toronto Raptors, Davis blew up for 42 points against the Jazz. LeBron praised the big man for his performance.
“[Playing with Davis is] everything that I dreamed of,” James told Spectrum SportsNet after Monday’s win. “You know, I understand and I know the talent level that he possesses out on the floor both on the interior and out on the perimeter. He’s one of those unicorn-type players that could do it all.”
LeBron was a big reason why Davis was brought to the Lakers and the move clearly paid off. He’s definitely one of the 10 best players in the NBA and proved that on Monday. Now, they just need him to perform in the playoffs.
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Should Lakers Take It Easy With No. 1 Seed Locked Up?
With the win over the Jazz, the Lakers clinched the top seed in the Western Conference. There are still five seeding games to go for the team but they won’t really matter much. However, it’s clear the team still has a lot of kinks to work out before the playoffs. The Raptors are a team that the Lakers could feasibly see in the Finals and they looked really bad against them.
It’s natural for the team to have some rust after so many months off but it’s going to take a few more games before they get back to full speed. It remains to be seen if Frank Vogel will continue playing LeBron and Davis a lot of minutes. As we get closer to the playoffs, the two stars will probably see less and less minutes on the court.