Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James headed into his 19th campaign with plenty of motivation to prove he’s still among the game’s best talents. Injuries have seemingly become a prominent factor, forcing him to miss a significant amount of time. However, James’ recent string of performances has showcased otherwise as it’s put him alongside Michael Jordan for an impressive feat.
LeBron James leads the Lakers past the Magic
The Lakers snagged their second straight win after moving past the lowly Orlando Magic.
After a back-and-forth first half, the Lakers grabbed command of the game after a dominating third quarter. It featured a 21-0 run fueled by James’ stellar play on both ends of the floor. Los Angeles seized control after holding Orlando to 2-of-23 shooting (8.7%) in the quarter.
With Anthony Davis missing his second straight game due to knee soreness, James led the charge with an all-around outing, posting his 101st career triple-double. Beyond, the 36-year-old’s stellar performance gave another shining example that Father Time has yet to catch up to him.
LeBron James joining Michael Jordan in the record books proves he’s continuing to halt Father Time
In his 19th season, James has dealt with injuries becoming a prevalent issue as he’s missed 12 games.
However, the 17-time All-Star has seemingly worked past those nagging ailments in recent weeks. He’s hit his stride with his performance, coming off his second triple-double of the season.
It pushed him to rack up his sixth 30-point outing in the last eight games. His production has kept him on pace with Michael Jordan as the only players at age 36 or older to average at least 27 points, 5.0 assists, and 5.0 rebounds over a 10-game stretch.
After Sunday’s win over the Magic, James credited his recent extra sleep and watching his son Bronny play as the reasons he played well.
“Sleep and inspiration from my son and his team,” James said via Lakers Nation. “I got some pretty good sleep in OKC the day we got in and the day of the game and yesterday I was pretty tired flying and things of that nature but watching those guys and watching my son and his team play, I got some energy from that. Then I got some more sleep today and was able to come in with some energy and put it out on the floor.”
James’ recent string of strong performances has quieted down the chatter regarding Father Time catching up to him. The missed time due to a sore right leg and an abdominal strain fueled the notion that his body was starting to break down in his 19th campaign.
Despite that, James has maintained his typical elite production as he’s averaging 26.3 points, 7.1 assists, and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 50.6% from the floor and 35.2% from beyond the arc. Much of the season still lies ahead, but it’s quite evident he has plenty left in the tank to perform as one of the league’s best players.
The Lakers needs LeBron James to lead the charge
Beyond James finding his groove, it’s increasingly evident that the Lakers need him to lead them forward.
Los Angeles is working to find their identity, resulting in inconsistent play through the first quarter of the season. It’s a significant ask for a player in their 19th campaign, but James has proven that he can handle that massive responsibility.
The Lakers need Anthony Davis to step up as the anchor on both ends of the floor, while Russell Westbrook must find his comfort as the third scoring option. These factors will play a pivotal role in dictating whether Los Angeles will make those lofty expectations a reality.