How Would The Los Angeles Lakers Fare Without LeBron James?

Published 02/15/2021, 2:30 PM EST
Jan 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the first quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


Following their triumph in 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers went 10 years before ending their title drought. This would not have been possible had they not signed LeBron James during the 2018 NBA free agency.

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They played a season with him but were unable to make the playoffs. It was the first time LeBron played lesser than 60 games in a season his career following his groin injury. The Lakers also had a young and inexperienced team, bar a couple of veterans, which held them back.

They brought in Anthony Davis a year later and went on to win the title with him and LeBron. AD averaged more points, which critics used as an excuse to say LeBron wasn’t the best player on the team. But how would the Lakers be without LeBron on the team?

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Lack of playmaking

LeBron leads the Lakers in assists. He averages eight assists per game this season which is almost double to Dennis Schroder, who is second with 4.4 assists per game.

Jan 25, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers already rank in the bottom half in assisted field goals made, so without LeBron, they become much worse. He is one of the best playmakers of all-time, and his ability to find the open man is impeccable. The Lakers would have to work harder on shot creation without some of his ability to create open looks.

Anthony Davis can’t lead the team to a title

Anthony Davis showed he can be a leader during his time with the Pelicans. But that leadership wasn’t enough to get the team to the playoffs regularly, or even a deep playoff run. The Pelicans front office failed him as well, but Davis is nowhere near a leader like LeBron, who is regarded as one of the best leaders in NBA history.

LeBron also brings his championship experience as a leader and his 18 years of experience in the league.

Jan 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball during the first quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

No one is as clutch as LeBron James

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When the Lakers need a bucket, they go to LeBron because during the clutch moments, he turns it up. When the Lakers need a stop in the final seconds, once again it’s LeBron who is called to action. There is no one else who can perform on both ends in the clutch like him on the Lakers. This will be another huge void if he is not on the team.

So when LeBron calls time on his career with the Lakers, these are all factors they need to keep in mind when they attempt to replace him.

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Aaron Mathew

1524 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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