With the regular season officially done for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James can officially claim the first assists title of his career.
The Lakers superstar finished the season averaging a career-high 10.2 assists per game, a career high and as the only player in the NBA to average double-figures. Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Ricky Rubio of the Phoenix Suns, and Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers rounded out the top five in assists for this season.
Coming into the year there were a lot of concerns about whether James was still among the best players in the game. Even more questions were asked when it was suggested that he could possibly be the Lakers starting point guard.
Though James has always been an excellent playmaker, actually taking on that role full time was an entirely different animal, especially as he entered a 17th NBA season. But he completely embraced his new role, taking the reins of this team and masterfully controlling each game with his outstanding play.
James was able to lead the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference and was named a finalist for the NBA MVP Award.
LeBron also joined some elite company with his passing season, becoming only the second player over the age of 35 to average at least 10 assists. The other was Steve Nash, who did so in three consecutive seasons with the Phoenix Suns.
Any questions on whether James was still amongst the NBA’s elite were answered in a big way this season as he silenced a lot of doubters with his performance. Now the next goal will be to keep up that level of play on the way to a championship run the Lakers’ franchise has been dying to see again.
LeBron, Lakers aren’t quite in playoff mode yet
The Lakers are set to begin the playoffs in hopes of bringing back the franchise’s 17th NBA championship. Led by James and Anthony Davis the Lakers are among the favorites, but haven’t looked their best in the season restart.
James admitted that he isn’t quite in playoff mode, but has no doubt he and the Lakers will get there. “There’s a different type of preparation that goes into a playoff game. You spend hours and hours on teams, because you know you’re going to be locked in with them at least for four games,” he explained.
“Throughout a regular season or these eight games, you really have maybe a day, maybe not even a full day, to lock in on a team and then you start preparing for the next team.”
“Me personally, as far as mentally, I’m not in playoff mode. Physically, I’m getting there. I feel like my legs have gotten better and better, my game has improved more and more, I’m getting more and more comfortable with the bubble. But as far as the mental side of it, I’m not there and our team isn’t. But we will be.”
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