The Los Angeles Lakers are enduring a bad run of games. With a loss against the Wizards last night, they have just one win in their last five games now. The absence of Anthony Davis is taking a toll on the team, especially LeBron James, who has been overworked in this period.
In his last nine games, LeBron is averaging 38 minutes per game, which includes four games of 40+ minutes. He played 43 minutes tonight in yet another overtime game for the Lakers. Fans are worried because they would want to see LeBron well rested before the playoffs. He is 36 now and despite him being a supreme athlete; the concerns are valid.
But LeBron himself isn’t worried about resting. During the post-game interview last night, he said, “This whole narrative of (I) need more rest… I don’t talk about it. I don’t believe in it. We all need more rest, shit. But I’m here to work, to punch my clock in and be available to my teammates.”
This is an elite mentality from the four-time NBA champion, and his drive to help his team is second to none.
ESPN’s Rachel Nichols pointed out how LeBron is averaging the most minutes in the NBA since Davis got injured. He was 50th in the league prior to the injury, and he jumped all the way to first in this span. He also went from having the 10th most touches per game to third-most in the league.
This shows how the Lakers are overdependent on their superstar. While he has delivered on most occasions, the supporting cast has been unable to rally behind him. The success of the other top teams in the league like the Nets, Jazz, and Clippers is influenced by the performance of their role players. The Lakers are behind them because they fall short on this front.
There is no doubt the absence of Dennis Schroder and AD is the prime reason behind their form. But the other role players need to be more consistent as the Lakers aim to go back to back.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops