LeBron James Praises Lakers’ Rhythm & Energy In Recent Stretch
LeBron James, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the Los Angeles Lakers are piecing things together for arguably the first time all season, and especially for the first time since the conclusion of the In-Season Tournament. They have won seven of their last 10 and five of their last six, and they’ve done so with LeBron James missing some time and only leading the team in scoring three times.

It has been an unequivocal team effort to get the Lakers’ season back on track, and they now sit at 29-26, only two games back of the No. 8 seed and 3.5 games back of the No. 5 seed Phoenix Suns. This puts them in legitimate striking distance as the season enters the home stretch.

James — who was vocal about the team’s struggles earlier this season — has some specifics that he loves about the way the Lakers have been playing on both ends of the floor.

“We haven’t turned the ball over,” James said. “Offensively, everybody has been sharing the ball, everybody has been in a good rhythm. And then defensively, we’ve been on a string and if anything breaks down, the Defensive Player of the Year cleans it up for us. So definitely playing some good ball.”

The stats back James up. Over the last month, the Lakers have the No. 5 offensive rating in the NBA, the sixth-best assist percentage and the seventh-best turnover percentage. LeBron went in detail on what’s working offensively.

“The ball should always have energy behind it, popping it and guys feeling in rhythm. It helps when you have multiple guys that can break down defenses and it’s just all about reading and reacting, taking what the defense gives you. If you got two guys on you, that means it’s a four on three on the backside.

“AD is doing great as far as his passing, especially either in early transition or when teams are doubling him in the post. And then myself, AR, DLo and now Spence, it’s our job to make sure we continue to give guys involved as well throughout the court of the game. When the ball is popping and there’s energy behind it, I think everybody feels in a good rhythm.”

The Lakers have some upcoming opportunities to rise even higher in the standings, as their next four games are against teams either beneath them in the Western Conference picture or within 3.5 games ahead of them. Racking up some more wins would put L.A. in a phenomenal position entering the home stretch.

LeBron James: Lakers not going for a specific place in standings

James was asked if the Lakers are targeting any specific record by the end of the season, and he instead focused on L.A. simply approaching games the right way and letting the record be what it’s going to be.

“No. We just got to play good basketball. You play good basketball and you’re true to the game,” James said. “We just try to control what we can control. Obviously the NBA is so competitive and there’s so many great teams, I’m not here to try to predict where we should be or whatever the case may be.

“I understand having a goal is very important. You should have a goal or whatever the case may be but we have a lot to still continue to clean up. We have I believe three of our key guys still not in uniform with Vando, Cam and also Gabe, they’re big pieces to what we’re trying to do still. But at the end of the day, we just got to play good basketball. See the chips fall where they may.”

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