With the coaching staff continuing to search for answers to turn around the Los Angeles Lakers’ season, one move they have turned to recently has been the extremely small lineup with LeBron James at center.
While the lineup does have its faults, it has provided some positives as well and helps to space the floor for him to attack.
Of course, one concern for LeBron playing the five with any regularity is the potential physical toll his body faces in having to guard real centers. That would be a concern even if he were in his prime, but with James being 36 years old, the Lakers have been really careful about the load his body is taking and he is not concerned about it.
“No, I don’t feel anything,” James said on the effects of playing more center. “I’ve come out of the last couple of weeks feeling pretty good besides stepping on Jae Crowder’s foot the other day. As far as me playing the five defensively or playing the one offensively, I feel great. I really do.”
The beauty of James has been on full display this season as he truly has been playing all five positions in trying to get the Lakers out of this losing streak. Though the Lakers have lost five consecutive games, LeBron is averaging a ridiculous 31.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists while shooting 55.7% from the field.
James is committed to winning and is willing to do any and everything to make that happen. There are very few players who have the strength to guard centers, while also possessing the ball handling, basketball IQ and court vision to be the primary creator as well. For anyone who has ever questioned LeBron’s greatness, what he is doing in his 19th season is beyond reproach.
Playing center is not something James has had to do throughout his career, but his willingness to do so and the fact that he is feeling no physical repercussions makes it that much more likely that more time will be spent there, especially for as long as Anthony Davis is out.
James will continue to carry the load during Lakers difficult stretch
The Lakers will continue to explore everything in order to turn things around and James insists that as long as he’s on the court he will carry the load as much as he can.
“I try to do my part when I’m on the floor. Carry the load,” LeBron said. “Do a little bit on both sides and just try to lead by example and also lead with my voice. It’s obviously been difficult throughout this stretch, but that won’t stop me, I’m going to continue to do what I’m doing.”
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