LeBron James has been in exquisite form since the start of the 2020-21 season, proving yet again he can defy age by constantly evolving his game.
Last year, the now four-time NBA champions morphed into a pass-dishing machine and led the league in assist on the way to the Los Angeles Lakers’ 17th championship in franchise history. Meanwhile this year, James improved his 3-point shooting converting 39.4% of his attempts from downtown – a noted step up on last season’s 34.8%.
Besides, the All-Star forward continues orchestrating L.A.’s defense making him – still, at the age of 36 — an invaluable piece for the Lakers. “He’s really leading the charge, taking the matchup of Horford in certain situations — and Wesley Matthews had two great defensive stops on Horford post-ups as well — but that’s what ‘Bron does,” head coach Frank Vogel said after the 114-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Vogel predicted that James’ performance this season will earn him a fifth MVP Award of his illustrious career. “That’s why he’s probably going to be this year’s MVP,” the coach added. “Carrying the load offensively, quarterbacking the No. 1 defense in the league, taking these tough assignments, and making plays down the stretch. He’s playing terrific.”
Vogel believed James should have won the award last season, but he finished second in the MVP voting to the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James. I believe he should be the MVP this year,” Vogel said last July.
Vogel: James ‘feeling good’ despite playing three straight overtime games
James took on even more responsibilities after an Achilles injury ruled out his partner in crime, Anthony Davis, in the two most recent overtime games the Lakers played. James averaged more than 40 minutes per game in all three affairs that required extra time.
Vogel acknowledged he was worried about James’ well-being but added his star responded well to the extra time on the floor. “There’s always concern, but his body has been feeling good,” Vogel said.
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