Back to .500 at 16-16 after one 108-88 lose arrive Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James makes it seem like he knows as much about his team’s potential now as he did when he started the season 0-0.
“We don’t know,” James said. “We don’t know what this team could be.”
After seeing his 34-game high go to waste – his eighth 30-point performance in LA’s past 12 games – the 19-year veteran has cleared up the setbacks that the Lakers have suffered.
There were dozens of games he missed. Wounds are over Trevor Ariza in the first 30 games and have kept Kendrick Nunn out of the lineup completely so far. Throw in Anthony Davis‘The MCL sprain is expected to keep him out for at least a month and the four Lakers, and head coach Frank Vogel, are missing because of health and safety protocols and it doesn’t paint a picture. Beautiful for one of the supposed favorites coming up the season.
James said: “So how can we really fully appreciate what we have when we’re not all-round? I can’t remember the last time we played the same starting lineup and had the same one at the same time,” James said. penalty shootout from the bench,” James said. “Long time no see. So it’s hard to judge that.”
Indeed, LA rolled out its 17th different starting lineup of the season against the Suns, the most numerous team in the league. Meaning, on average, the Lakers haven’t been able to play more than two games in a row this year before needing to change things up.
The Lakers took a 10 point lead early on the Suns (25-5), who passed Golden Empire Warriors for the best record in the NBA with a win, but lost control in the second half as Phoenix overcame LA 31-21 in the third and rose to 22 in the fourth.
“Obviously, they’re at full strength and we’re not, so it’s hard to see where we are as a team,” James said.
James himself appeared to avoid serious injury as he bandaged down the Suns’ right leg Jae Crowder in the third quarter. He continued to play but looked limp by his left ankle the rest of the way.
“Yes, I’ll be ready for the next game,” James said.
David Fizdale, appointed as head coach while Vogel was in the protocol, praised the Suns’ play but added that they have had the luck the Lakers have lacked.
“They’ve had a lot of continuity and they’ve been very lucky,” Fizdale said. “So lucky to be healthy. … So that continuity is a big deal, and I really feel like in our situation, the attitude of the guys and the way they approach it. It’s been amazing. To me, that makes it easy to believe that we’re going to be okay.”
Fizdale, who was an assistant to Miami Heat James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh & Co.
“One thing about LeBron, and I don’t want to speak for him, but he won’t get caught up in that. [negative] and so are we,” said Fizdale. Bron is seeing all of this as just the new challenge ahead of him. After all these years, he’s not bothered by any of it. He’s not a reprimand, he’s not a complainer, he’s not a finger pointer. He will find a solution. “
James has called this season the biggest challenge of his career and says the Lakers will need to feel comfortable in the uncomfortable in order to thrive through their challenges.
His new life partner Russell Westbrook, whose 22 points and five assists were ruined by seven games against the Suns, seems confident that LA will be better for what they’ve been through.
“I am very optimistic,” Westbrook said. “We’ve been through a lot as a team and are still going through it as a unit. And the best thing, for me, so far, all the ups and downs. It’s the season. The most important part of the NBA is that we are always together. Never split. Never panic. Never give in to what people outside of our team are saying. Just make sure that. We stick together and find a way to stick together no matter what.”
It’s trying time for the Lakers. Talen Horton-Tucker won 1 to 13 after missing 3 games because of COVID-19 and James said it would be nice to get another body back no matter what the shot rate.
However, there are still 50 games left in the regular season. There’s plenty of time to find the rhythm, as long as the Lakers don’t let go of the strings.
“Obviously this is Bron’s deal,” Fizdale said. “The boys looked to Bron to be a leader, but he and Frank were nothing short of spectacular from a point of view that preaches patience but also holds people accountable. It’s easy to say. that to be patient and just cover up the crap. And act like everything is just “It’s all great”. But it’s not, and they’re not acting like it. They’re calling people out. We’re dealing with stuff we need to clean up and those two are really leading that.”
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/32921862/lebron-james-hard-fully-assess-16-16-los-angeles-lakers-whole LeBron James – Hard to fully appreciate 16-16 Los Angeles Lakers ‘when we’re not comprehensive’