Highlander Hot Take: LeBron James can still lead the Lakers through the tough Western Conference for a deep postseason run

Highlander Hot Take: LeBron James can still lead the Lakers through the tough Western Conference for a deep postseason run

Heading into the All-Star split, the Lakers were being associated in quite a few trade rumors and had their intentions established on improving their roster, as they hope to contend for a championship this year. The Lakers grew to become quite involved in the pursuit of Bulls guard Zach Lavine, who would later on have a period-ending surgical treatment on his right foot, along with Hawks guard Dejounte Murray.

Austin Reeves &#8212 courtesy of Flickr

Having said that, as trade talks started to escalate, Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell, who had been struggling to get started the season and observed himself in several trade rumor packages, started to elevate his level of play, as he’s averaging 19.9 details, 6.5 helps and 3.8 rebounds due to the fact the All-Star break. To go with Russell’s improved engage in, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura have shown flashes of fantastic enjoy that ended up prevalent in the Lakers 2023 playoff run, which ended in them acquiring swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Meeting Finals.

With LeBron James in the twilight of his career, the franchise and maybe James himself are unsure how a lot of many years he has remaining as a player, let by yourself taking part in at an all-league level. 

In addition, Lakers’ basic manager Rob Pelinka may perhaps have pulled off one particular of the extra underrated moves pertaining to mid-period acquisitions. On Feb. 12, it was introduced that Spencer Dinwiddie signed to the Los Angeles Lakers, just after having traded to Toronto, who later on waived him. Dinwiddie has been a spark off the bench, and has begun a number of online games if have to have be for Lakers’ coach Darvin Ham. In his final five games in LA, Dinwiddie is averaging 12.6 points, 2.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 29.4 minutes for each game. Dinwiddie has also been a trusted defender for Los Angeles, as he took on the defensive assignment of guarding Damian Lillard in the last possession of a 123-122 victory more than Milwaukee back on March 8 at Crypto.com Arena. 

Irrespective of the Lakers acquiring their season-higher five-activity winning streak coming to an conclusion in Indiana, they stay only two video games back again of Phoenix, which they very own the tiebreaker inside the playoff seedings. 

The Lakers also have the probable to get much healthier appear playoff time. Standout defender, Jarred Vanderbilt, has a opportunity to return to the lineup later on in the year following suffering a proper mid-foot sprain on Feb. 1. Cam Reddish has also appeared to be wholesome immediately after dealing with an ankle injuries. Also, Anthony Davis is putting collectively a really healthful year, immediately after working with consecutive damage plagued seasons adhering to the championship campaign in 2020. Davis has only skipped five online games this time. 

And despite staying in his 21st year in the NBA and showing up to have a winning battle towards father-time, James is nonetheless putting up All-NBA quantities, averaging 25.2 points, 8.1 assists and 7.3 rebounds per video game this time. James even now has the skill to elevate his degree of perform in the postseason, even in yr 21. Flashback to final season’s playoffs, James completed the final handful of months of the year working with a proper foot damage, however continue to managed to convey the Lakers to the Western Meeting Finals soon after playoff series wins over Memphis and Golden State.

Lebron James &#8212 courtesy of flickr

Regardless of dealing with lingering still left ankle soreness this period, James has only skipped ten online games this season, and hopes to direct the Lakers to a different deep postseason run. James has never ever skipped a recreation in his career in the postseason, and has performed in 282 game titles in the playoffs. The Lakers, 41-33, are at present the 9th seed in the west, and will journey to Brooklyn to acquire on the Nets on Sunday.

The article Highlander Sizzling Consider: LeBron James can even now direct the Lakers by the challenging Western Meeting for a deep postseason operate appeared initially on Highlander.