With the playoffs being out of the question for the Los Angeles Lakers, the focus has shifted to what is best for the team’s future. Many began wondering if head coach Luke Walton and the the Lakers would shut down LeBron James for the rest of the season.
James has a ton of miles on his body and allowing him to rest wouldn’t be the worst thing for his long-term outlook. While it was announced that his minutes would be monitored the rest of the way, it looks as if that is as far as the Lakers will go.
Walton said the team has not discussed sidelining James for their remaining 11 games, according to ESPN:
Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton said he has not had any discussions with LeBron James about shutting down the four-time MVP for the remainder of the season.
Upon James being ruled out for Tuesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Walton added the Lakers are anticipating his return:
“We’re a much better team when he’s on the floor,” Walton said Tuesday. “So I’m looking forward to him getting back out there again.”
Of course Walton, being the competitor that he is, would prefer James be on the floor helping the team get a few wins down the stretch of the season. Walton is smart enough to not overwork James in what are basically meaningless games, but there are some things that can be gained in these last couple of weeks.
James and Walton seem to be on the same page with this subject so as much as some may feel it’s best for James to sit out the remainder of the season, at this point it doesn’t look like that is in the pages.