LeBron James and the LA Lakers have had a remarkable season. Despite all the difficult situations they went through this year, the Lakers have somehow overcome everything and reached the NBA Finals. A big reason James is now in his ninth NBA Finals in 10 years is that he is playing with arguably the most talented teammate he has ever played with in Anthony Davis. However, James recently revealed that he has had great chemistry with a teammate other than Davis.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers to the Finals
The Lakers have been a top team in the NBA all year long. LeBron James was an MVP contender for practically the entire season as he averaged 25.3 points per game, 7.8 rebounds, and an NBA-leading 10.2 assists. Anthony Davis, on the other hand, averaged 26.1 points per game and 9.3 rebounds. The two of them helped lead the Lakers to a 52-19 record and the No. 1 record in the Western Conference.
While the NBA went on a long hiatus for COVID-19, the Lakers have still been dominant during the playoffs in the bubble.
James has averaged 26.7 points per game, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists during the postseason, while Davis has averaged 28.8 points per game and 9.3 rebounds. Their play has helped lead the Lakers to three straight five-game series wins in the first three rounds of the playoffs over the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and Denver Nuggets.
James and Davis’ chemistry is certainly a big reason why the Lakers are facing the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. However, James has also had great chemistry with another teammate on the Lakers.
James has had great chemistry with Alex Caruso
Lakers guard Alex Caruso doesn’t put up eye-popping stats. He averaged 5.5 points per game, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists this season. However, whenever he is on the court with James, they play excellent together.
“We’re one and the same when it comes to winning basketball,” James said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The stats prove that they have great chemistry too. According to The Wall Street Journal, net rating calculates a team’s point differential per 100 possessions. The average net rating for NBA champions throughout the last two decades was 7.2 points. The Lakers’ net rating of 5.6 points jumped up to 8 points this season when James and Davis were on the court.
However, the rating was 18.6 points with James and Caruso on the court together. That rating was No. 1 in the NBA.
“To see our chemistry together,” James said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “I think it comes with our minds.”
What’s even crazier about this stat is that this was the highest net rating James had with any teammate in his career, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“I’ve always done a good job when I play with better players than myself,” Caruso said on Instagram Live with Jared Dudley, per to The Wall Street Journal. “I seem to be able to raise my game. I can’t always do that if I’m the best player on the court. Luckily, I’m not going to be the best player on the court probably for the rest of my life.”
Can the Lakers win the NBA championship?
With James, Davis, and Caruso, the Lakers have an excellent chance to win in the NBA Finals over the Miami Heat.
The Heat have Jimmy Butler, who averaged 19.9 points per game this year, in addition to Bam Adebayo (15.9 points per game and 10.2 rebounds), Goran Dragic (16.2 points per game), Duncan Robinson (13.5 points per game), and Tyler Herro (13.5 points per game). They will certainly be tough to beat.
However, LA has one of the best duos of all time in James and Davis. They also have several great role players in Caruso, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and others. They are going to be hard to defend.
This NBA Finals should be pretty entertaining. We know that James and Caruso will give us good basketball when they’re on the court together too.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference