LeBron James will need brains over brawn in return

LeBron James
Image: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

LeBron James is not going to have a lot of time to get acclimated for the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff run. On Monday — ahead of 11 regular season games remaining — he posted some intriguing footage of him doing on-court work.

It definitely adds fuel to the fire set by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dennis Schroder. Schroder, per SB Nation’s Silver Screen & Roll, spoke on Saturday night:

“I heard Bron is close,” the guard said.

Woj advised that it could be a return as soon as this week as well.

If he returns this week, he will possibly have less than 10 games to play. The second half of the Lakers duo, Anthony Davis, has already had three games under his belt. With the physical challenge ahead, LeBron’s computer brain will be much-needed to match and mesh his teammate’s cohesion. 

LeBron is a special player because of his combination of alien-like athleticism and IQ. As he’s shown time and time again, he knows the inside and out of all of the team’s sets on both ends.

It’s probably why he’s been able to elevate teammates of all varieties since entering the league. Relevant to the Lakers, they’ve added two players that have been steady in the rotation and could use his push.

Dennis Schroder talked about the potential meeting of the minds that the team is planning when LeBron returns. It’s very telling that they have a meeting scheduled before anything they do together on the floor. Guys seem to want to share their thoughts and knowledge acquired over the last month and change. Who better to be in the middle of it all than LeBron James?

So many of their losses have been more about the lack of his mere talent. His presence is almost like having a coach AND a coordinator on the floor. No disrespect to other leaders on the team, but LeBron brings 18 years of high-level basketball on a nightly basis. That’s a hell of a lot of experience and wisdom.

Sometimes he can stop the bleeding by not only scoring but poise and communication. Some of these examples include calling out the best spots for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to space the floor. Other times it’s telling Alex Caruso about the rotation that can be made during an opponent’s drive. These are just a few things that will shift a game outside of the box score.

All of these things are a benefit of LeBron’s ability to know the job of each guy on the floor. It’s one of the reasons that he could play any and all positions on a given night. The Lakers have missed having the opposition’s game-plan geared towards 23. Without him, guys have been slotted into unfavorable spots at many times.

But one of these days, we will get that Tweet or report we’re all waiting for. Lakers fans — and even the players — will get the ray of light they need at the right time. LeBron James would surprise us all if he was not physically up to par. What more can we say about this? The better wonder lies in what’s coming with him from his mind. The Lakers will need his confidence and mindset. They have a title to defend and that intensity to do so will begin as soon as The King touches the hardwood again.

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