LeBron James continues to defy Father Time, even in Year 20 as he tries to drag the Los Angeles Lakers back into the playoffs.
Things haven’t quite gone according to plan though as the Lakers have suffered several tough losses, with their most recent one coming against the Sacramento Kings. James had a near triple-double of 32 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Los Angeles couldn’t execute down the stretch.
James has been playing heavy minutes during the season, specifically in the last eight games where he has averaged 38 minutes per game, and Darvin Ham admitted he is concerned about how much his star has had to do to keep the Lakers competitive.
“Yeah, I feel bad about that. He’s playing at an amazing level,” Ham said. “But again, we can’t run them in the ground. That was one of my main goals coming into the season, man. Here he is 36 and a half again a night, but we just have to manage them. And have clarity in terms of scaling back his minutes. And again, the non-game days being smart. His preparation is always on point. But even still, holding him out of some things that we may do on the court. You know, he’s a high-level IQ basketball player, so he understands he can sit there and watch something and figure it out. have it all figured out defensively and offensively.
“So to your point, it is a concern. And we have, my staff and I, we talk about it all the time. But it’s tough, man, because he’s such a competitor. And we’re in these games, and he wants to win, we want to win. So you kind of lose sight of the minutes until you come back and see the stat sheet after the game. But you know, we’re gonna figure it out. We have a team of very smart people, our medical training staff and our coaching staff. We all put our heads together and see what the best course of action just to kind of give him some, whatever rest can be gained, not just going forward and in short term, but in the long term as well.”
Ham almost has no choice but to play James extended minutes every night as the team has little to no room for error these days. The postseason is still in reach when looking at how close the standings are, but there has to be major concern about James eventually wearing down.
Hopefully the front office realizes the dire situation the team is in and gets the King reinforcements, but for now, James will have to do his best with the hand he’s been dealt.
Darvin Ham believes second-chance points and late-game fouling were reasons behind loss to Kings
James gave the Lakers enough to pull out a win against the Kings, but there were a couple of areas where the team fell short. Ham pointed out Sacramento getting too many second-chance points and Los Angeles’ fouling late in the game as the primary reasons they lost.
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