WATCH: LeBron James Hustles on Defense to Help LA Lakers Get a Big Basket Against Wizards

Published 02/23/2021, 4:58 AM EST
Jan 28, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes up for a shot against Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee (24) during the first quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James is one of the best players in the NBA today. While his offensive numbers are always excellent, his defensive efforts always go under the radar. James has made the All-NBA Defensive first team five times in his career and once made the second team. And tonight, James showed how hard he works on both ends of the court when he went up against the Wizards.

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LeBron James works hard on defense

In the game against the Wizards, LeBron won the ball for the Lakers. But it caught a few awkward bounces, and the ball was almost about to go out of bounds. However, LeBron caught the ball and threw it all the way across the court, where Kyle Kuzma was waiting. Kuzma laid it off to KCP for an open three to take the lead.

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James has been fantastic this season for the Lakers. With Anthony Davis facing significant struggles this season, James stepped up in a big way for them. Early in the season, Davis did not perform as well as many expected him to. A player of AD’s quality rarely has those kinds of struggles. The problems only got worse when Davis ended up having to sit out injured for a significant period of time.

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Currently, LeBron James is the main offensive option for the Lakers during their games. But his defensive work goes unnoticed. His effort on defense has helped the Lakers win several games across the season, including their overtime win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LBJ is responsible for the Lakers

With Anthony Davis gone, James will be expected to do even more. Davis was the defensive stopper for the Lakers, and without him, the Lakers will be vulnerable going into the closing stretch of the season. But James is one of the most physically gifted players of his generation and can step up in the big moments when he is asked to.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) watches from the bench in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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But can James be the defensive stalwart as well? At age 36, the Lakers run the risk of asking too much of LeBron. However, he has shown that he is still capable of playing at a high level, and he continues to be the best player for the Lakers. But even he has a lot on his plate with the Lakers’ current state.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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