Lakers News: LeBron James Feels Better Physically Going Into Playoffs This Year Than Last
LeBron James, Lakers
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, LeBron James was dealing with a serious foot injury and while he was still able to deliver for the most part for the Los Angeles Lakers, he was clearly bothered by it. One year later and now in his 21st NBA season and set to head into the Play-In Tournament, LeBron is in a better spot physically.

In the final stretch of the season, James has been outstanding, averaging 27.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 9.8 assists in the last 10 games while shooting 61.4% from the field and 45.5% from 3-point range. In a season where some wondered if LeBron would be able to hold up for the whole year, he appeared in 71 games and is likely to make yet another All-NBA team.

But most importantly for both James and the Lakers, he is feeling much better going into the postseason than he did at this time last year and is proud that he was able to stay healthy all year long, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Better than I did at the end of the season last year going into the postseason. Obviously still dealing with it, whatever the case may be, some small things here, some small things there, but I took a lot of pride in the offseason in just trying to get my ankle, foot back in order, get my body back in order. It’s definitely paid off for me throughout the regular season.

“Not quite sure how many games I played this year, you guys will probably know, but that’s pretty cool, at this point in my career to be able to play 70-plus games and be available for my guys. I think only a few of them were because of injury or illness, so it’s pretty cool.”

LeBron finished off the season in rare form, notching a season-high 17 assists to go along with 28 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers took down the New Orleans Pelicans. Now with a rematch on the way in the Play-In Tournament, LeBron is willing and ready to do whatever he needs to ensure the Lakers get another win in New Orleans:

“I just want to win. So whatever the game presents itself for me to be, if it needs to be more attacking and scoring, or if it needs me to be more of a setup guy, if it needs me to be more of a defender, I got to do it all. I am a Swiss army knife, so I got to do it all on the floor and none of it is predetermined.”

The Pelicans will undoubtedly come with a different plan after the Lakers dominated on Sunday. James was primarily a defender, taking on the challenge of guarding Zion Williamson, and a playmaker in the regular season finale. But if the Lakers are going to get a second straight win, and lock in their playoff spot, LeBron may need to do even more, and he is ready for that challenge.

Darvin Ham feels LeBron James set the tone defensively for Lakers vs. Pelicans

The Lakers have always stressed that they are a defensive-minded team first and foremost and that was the case in their regular season finale against the Pelicans. LeBron James was the primary defender on Zion Williamson and head coach Darvin Ham believes that set the tone for the rest of the team.

Ham noted that when someone like LeBron takes on that challenge, it leaves no excuses for the rest of the team to give everything they can defensively as well. And the Lakers as a whole stepped up to get a very big win to end the season.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers Injury News: Josh Hart Tweaks Hamstring During Practice, May Miss Preseason Game Vs. Warriors

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Josh Hart was pulled out of Monday’s practice due to a tweaked…

Lakers News: Alex Caruso Explains Why He Has Become Fan Favorite

While most of the attention surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers has been focused on the Anthony Davis trade and rightfully…

NBA Coaching News: Tyronn Lue Celebrates 42nd Birthday With Lakers-Themed Cake

With Monty Williams becoming the Phoenix Suns head coach, the Los Angeles Lakers immediately shifted their focus to…

Lakers News: Anthony Davis Describes Ideal Teammates To Surround Him With For 2019-20 NBA Season And Beyond

After the Anthony Davis trade to begin the 2019 NBA offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers were content to wait on Kawhi…