‘Saved Us So Far’: LeBron James Rings Precautionary Bell to Teammates About Lakers’ Shortcomings

Published 03/12/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the closing second of the Lakers 96-94 loss to the Miami Heat at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers are yet to play their first game since the All-Star break and LeBron James has rung a bell of caution as to where the team needs to improve in the second half of the season. 

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The Lakers began the 2020-21 regular-season on a strong note by dominating any team that came their way. However, the tide quickly turned on the franchise as the pandemic and a few injury worries deterred their collective confidence. 

The Lakers now find themselves as the third seed in the West, but the team has higher aspirations. With a player like LeBron James on the team, it would be an embarrassment if they slip any further. 

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LeBron James wants the Lakers to work on their shortcomings this season

The 2021 Lakers are an excellent unit, but they lack the chemistry. They have all the pieces that could win the franchise a championship, but they don’t seem to perform when a proper leader isn’t on the court.

The purple and gold are well balanced on the court but have been shorthanded on the offensive end ever since Anthony Davis was sidelined due to injury. The Lakers are currently averaging 111.4 points per game.

Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel (right) talks to his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the Lakers 96-94 loss to the Miami Heat at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

“The fact that we’re so damn good defensively has saved us so far this season cause we haven’t been great offensively. Haven’t shot the ball well, have had high turnover games…but we hang our hats on our defense and that’s always going to give us an oppn. to win,” James recently mentioned. 

The Lake show has been incredible on defense. They hardly allow their opponents to score more than 107 points against them, which is a mighty feat. But the same can’t be said about the recent string of offensive woes they’ve been enduring. 

How can the Lakers regroup and find the right offensive form?

The answer is simple. Get back Anthony Davis into the starting lineup. Davis is the essential spark that the defending champions are missing right now. He’s been out since mid-February and is most likely to return in the coming weeks. 

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Jan 12, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) controls the ball against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (left) during the third quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Davis has missed nine straight games for the Lakers since Feb 16, and the team holds a dismal 3-6 record in that span. This is the worst run the defending champions are going through at the moment. LeBron James just can’t take all the load by himself and keep producing results night in and night out. 

Hence, the Lakers are currently looking to sustain with what they have on the roster. While James is averaging an impressive 25/8/8, he needs the supporting cast to step up on the offense a bit more to complement his game. 

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Arjun Athreya

1946 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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