The Los Angeles Lakers lost game one of their first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. It was a mostly ugly affair ending in a 100-93 win for the Blazers with the Lakers’ awful shooting drawing most of the headlines.
It wasn’t all ugly for the Lakers, however, as LeBron James set yet another record. The 17th year veteran put up 23 points, 15 assists and 17 rebounds in his first postseason appearance for the purple and gold. It was also the first such stat line anyone has ever recorded in the history of the NBA playoffs:
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) August 19, 2020
On a more Lakers centric note, James joined Magic Johnson as the only other player to record a triple-double in their playoffs debut in purple and gold.
Obviously these accomplishments don’t mean as much after a loss and LeBron would be the first to tell you that. And despite the monster stat line it never really felt like James was at his best on Tuesday. He missed some makeable shots, looked out of sorts around the rim, and settled for jumpers when he could have driven against the Blazers usually porous defense.
Still, LeBron ran the offense nearly to perfection and generated a ton of great looks for his teammates. Getting 15 assists in a game in which the Lakers could not hit the broadside of a barn is impressive just on its own.
The Lakers are going to need LeBron to be a little more aggressive in hunting his own shot and, more importantly, getting to the free throw line. Here’s hoping his game one passiveness was a matter of feeling the opponent out.
Watch highlights from LeBron’s great game below: