Even in Year 18, LeBron James continues to defy logic and expectations as he has the Los Angeles Lakers vying for the top seed in the Western Conference for the second consecutive season.
After a shortened offseason and training camp, the Lakers were expected to limit James’ minutes and potentially sit him periodically ,but so far he has appeared in all 27 games to date. The 36-year-old has not shown any signs of drop off and is arguably having a stronger season than last year.
James was instrumental in Los Angeles’ comeback win against the Memphis Grizzlies, recording a near triple-double (28 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) in 34 minutes of action. “You’re watching greatness,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
“He’s obviously been a big part of what we’re doing as a team, but he has these stretches where the game just comes so easy to him. Whatever he wants to do he’s able to do. It’s really remarkable what he’s doing, whether it’s Year 18 or Year 10, it would still be remarkable. Obviously at this point in his career, to see him doing these types of things is just special.”
Vogel has not been shy to acknowledge how special James’ 2020-21 season has been, going so far as to predict he will win the MVP Award.
James looks like a man on a mission and he can further strengthen his case when he and the Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets next.
Anthony Davis believes LeBron is frontrunner for MVP
Most pegged Anthony Davis as the anchor for the Lakers heading into the new season, but James apparently had other plans and took the reins from the get-go. Davis echoed Vogel’s words, saying that James should win his fifth MVP.
“From the start of the season to now, he’s shown why he’s in the MVP race,” Davis said. “I think he’s No. 1 in that race. “He’s continuously playing at a high level for our group. And like I said, I think the biggest difference is his ability to shoot.
“How do you guard him if he’s knocking down the 3-ball consistently? He’s getting to the paint, so you can’t go under, you can’t chase him over. He’ll get downhill and then his ability to pass and make plays. So he’s definitely tough to guard, which makes it easier for everyone else to just relax and make shots.”
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