Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James on/off court numbers paint big picture

(Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers have a great record, but the numbers show that they are still relying heavily on LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers currently boast a 24-6 record which is tied for the best record in the NBA. Their offense seems to be clicking and the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis seems to be working out just as planned. Both guys are having fun and the rest of the team is following suit.

In year 17, James looks to still be playing elite basketball. He is leading the NBA in assists by a wide margin, averaging 10.6 per night. This would be the first season he would average double-digit assists per game in his career.

His shooting splits at phenomenal at .496/.356/.677. He is averaging 25.8 points, 10.6 assists and 7.5 rebounds per night and doing it very efficiently. His offensive rating is 114.5 and his defensive rating is 101.7 that is good for a +12.8 net-rating.

So with all that being said and the impact he is having helping the Lakers dominate. It brings up the question, of when games slow down in the playoffs and LeBron is off the court, will the Lakers be able to hold up? You figure that staggering AD and Bron will be good enough to do the job, right?

Although in year 17 and continuing to age, LeBron continues to have big impacts on his teams. We took a look at his play on the court and how the Lakers fare with him. Now let’s take a look at how the team does with him on the bench, spoiler: it’s not good.

When Bron and his 114.5 offensive rating on the floor head off, so does the Lakers offensive flow. The offensive rating dips to 101.3, which is a -13.2 differential. You’re probably questioning this at the moment saying; “well he is the team’s best player and that happens when part of your superstar duo goes out.”

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That can be correct in a way and you should question that. But looking deeper, Davis, who is a superstar himself, has a 112.4 rating on the court offensively and a 110.2 rating when off the court. That’s only a -2.2 differential, so weigh that -13.2 to -2.2 to show that impact.

Now let’s get crazy. The defense is very crucial to this team making a deep run. They have the offense to score with anyone but do they have the defense? Does Bron have what it takes still to lock in on that end?

Advanced stats show he does. With Bron on the court, the Lakers have a 101.7 defensive rating with him off it’s a 103.2, that’s a -1.5 differential. Davis, who is considered one of the better defenders in basketball has a 104.2 rating on the court and a 99.5 rating off the court.

That number with Davis off the court is +4.7. It shows the Lakers are playing better team defense with him on the bench and worse defense with James on the bench. Numbers are numbers for a reason, but it shows the impact LeBron continues to have.

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The Lakers will go as James goes. As the season progresses look for him to get more nights off. Because the Lakers can’t afford to not have him on the floor come April.