Lakers news: LeBron James does not let up for scrimmages.
The best Los Angeles Lakers news possible is finally coming true as the purple and gold are officially back in action today at 4 p.m. pacific time in the team’s first scrimmage in the Orlando bubble against the Dallas Mavericks.
These games do not mean anything and will consist of 10-minute quarters. The games that really matter, the eight seeding games before the NBA Playoffs, begin on July 30.
These games not mattering on paper is not stopping LeBron James from treating them like it is Game 7 of the NBA Finals. James expressed his excitement to return to action against another NBA team in his latest Instagram post, making sure to establish that his championship mindset does not stop during scrimmages.
This entire season has been a mission for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. After a disappointing year last year in which LeBron missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-2005 season when he was only 20 years old.
People started to question whether or not father time was catching up to James, who missed the most time that he has missed in his career with a groin injury. Heading into his age 35 season, James adopted the #WashedKing mantra and has put together an MVP-caliber season alongside Anthony Davis.
Lakers news: What to watch for out of LeBron James in the scrimmage
So we know that LeBron James is going to take this scrimmage very seriously, so what exactly should we be looking for out of the Lakers superstar?
First of all, even though LeBron is treating this as more than a scrimmage, I doubt we will see that much of him. He will be on the court for a decent amount of time as he looks to get back into game speed but with this being the first scrimmage he likely won’t be overlooked.
I do not think it is really a question of whether or not he will be ready and up to game speed, either. If there is anything that we know for certain about LeBron it is that he takes care of his body and if anyone is going to transition seamlessly it is him, even at 35 years old.
The biggest thing we should be watching for is how the new faces in Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith fit alongside him. Are they being included heavily in the offensive sets, is LeBron allowing Waiters to take the ball up the court to be the second facilitator with Rajon Rondo out, etc.
It will also be interesting to see what the team does about guarding Luka Doncic with Avery Bradley out of the lineup. Is LeBron going to take more defensive duties, or is the team going to trust someone like Alex Caruso or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to fill in the gaps?
Regardless, it is exciting that Laker basketball is back and even more exciting that we will see LeBron James at his best.