LeBron James’ stats looked good in a Los Angeles Lakers box score, but something is missing here!
LeBron James came out on fire early. He had 12 points and a few assists before the lights got warm. When he jumped C.J. McCollum with a double team with Marc Gasol and finished the play with a dunk, it looked like the Lake Show Life staff could get started on the post game work early because it looked like a carbon copy of what happened the night before against Minnesota.
But something was different. LeBron got his numbers but it wasn’t in a demoralizing fashion as the playoff series in the bubble a couple of months earlier.
LeBron James filled the box score with 29 points (11-20 shooting, 3-7 from distance!) 9 rebounds (2 offensive!), 6 assists, 2 steals and a block. It was eerily similar to his first year in L.A. The numbers were there, but LeBron did not impose his will on the opposition.
In the fourth quarter, he did what he could scoring 13 points, but when it came down to the defensive end, he did not take the challenge of trying to stop any of the Blazers backcourt who laid waste to his teammates (More on that later!). These three players basically beat the Lakers by themselves.
- CJ McCollum: 20 points, 11 assists and 3 steals.
- Gary Trent Jr.: Career-high seven made 3 point shots, 28 points!
- Damian Lillard did the most damage with 31 points on 10-16 shooting, 5-10 from distance.
In the playoff series against Portland, LeBron took the defensive assignments very seriously.
- He basically destroyed Trent’s confidence after game two.
- His rotations affected McCollum to the point there was a shadow every time he shot.
- Finally, Lillard’s body broke down from the defensive pressure until he was no longer available.
In this game, LeBron coasted along and was not the best player on the floor. This will not be a requirement in games like the previous two when the Mavericks and Timberwolves didn’t show up. However, on nights where teams are locked in and focused, LeBron can’t allow three players on the opposing team to play better.
This really can’t happen if Anthony Davis has more games like this one. How did he do? Read on to find out. It wasn’t pretty.