The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t envision LeBron James being in street clothes on their watch. He’s a great dresser, but that’s not worth all the missed games. James played all 82 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017-18 season. Since then he’s played 55, 67, 45, and 15 games. Granted, the seasons are shortened, but the theme has remained the same.
James just finished his first stretch of playing four games all year long. Over the course of those, he’s averaged 26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds 7 assists. I think it’s safe to say that he’s finding a groove. He spoke in detail after their road win against the Oklahoma City Thunder:
“For me personally, I’m just getting healthier and healthier every day,” James said. “Obviously, my injury played a big part in me getting out of game shape, but also the dynamics of how I move and how I play, it left me just kind of hampered at times. Not to be able to get to full stride and things of that nature… I’m able to see plays before they actually happen, but not actually be able to make them, but as I continue to get stronger and stronger and my injury continues to get closer and closer to 100% I’m able to do a lot of things that I’ve been doing over my career that benefits our team. I’m happy with how I’m feeling as of late.”
As mentioned, James’ ailments have included his abdomen and ankle. These are two tricky injuries with lingering and unpredictable effects. To hear the man personally say he can feel the mend is encouraging.
James’ recovery may not quell all of the Lakers’ woes, but it’s a start. Two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and another against the New York Knicks should have been victories for them. This would be the difference of them floating between the sixth and eighth seed or holding possession of the fourth spot in the Western Conference. If the Lakers are going to avoid last season’s nightmare, homecourt advantage will be much-needed. Just the same, LeBron must remain as healthy as he can get.