Is LeBron James Getting BETTER? (Ft. Lakers NBA Season, A Lot of Seasons, & Defense)
LeBron James and the Lakers have been amazing this NBA season, but is LeBron getting better? Check out Raycons Black Friday Deals!: buyraycon.com/mj2kallday #NBA #LeBron #Lakers
Second Channel- usworlds.info/tv/ZWAssCaz6YHMXGziCKtdPw
The OUTRO song is OUT!: usworlds.info/slow/video/YoiJkJ-XjIWYiak
Man has LeBron come back for the throne. He’s averaging a career high in assists, but he’s also doing something we haven’t seen for over 5 years. I’m not trying to compare LeBron to just last year, I’m talking about his time on the Cavs too, so I wanted to really see if he’s somehow getting better and why he’s looked so good right now.
Usually I would start with what the player has done in the past and then see what they are doing right now to compare, but because LeBron’s body of work is so long, let’s take a look at what he’s doing this season and compare that to his best ever. This is LeBron’s defensive win shares for his career. This is his win shares this season if he keeps this pace. LeBron is on pace to have 5.79 defensive win shares this season. He hasn’t had that high of defensive win shares in a season since the 2008-2009 season when LeBron was 24 and on Cavs for the first time. What? That’s higher than his Miami Heat days when LeBron was 2nd in defensive player of the year voting. Yeah, LeBron is doing something he hasn’t done since Curry got drafted into the league.
Stats are one thing, but watching LeBron is another. LeBron is really putting that effort on that side. Yeah, chasedown blocks are nice, but I’m more interested in how LeBron is getting into a defensive stance and move his feet. Look at this defense from one pass away. LeBron is loaded, low, and moving his feet to cover both passing options, he eventually gets the steal. Last year this was the opposite. Even years in the past, LeBron has high IQ so he would get steals, but this is physical effort mixed in with IQ. That’s what made him so special in Miami because LeBron used his physical prowess on the defensive end and now he’s doing that again. LeBron’s absolutely right.
LeBron is also averaging a career low in minutes per game at 34.9 minutes which doesn’t mean a whole lot by itself, but actually means everything when put into context. LeBron James has been a leader in minutes per game for years. For 2016-2018, LeBron was ranked 1st in minutes per game. Last season he was 7th. And he was visibly tired some nights. This year, he’s ranked 11th. We saw this in the 2015-2016 season when he was ranked 14th. Also, LeBron has been averaging the most minutes in the playoffs for years as well. So the fact that he wasn’t in the playoffs helped LeBron rest, but more importantly than that is the fact that LeBron is playing less minutes this season.
The easiest to see is that LeBron is averaging a career high in assists. His previous high for a season was 9.1 assists and now he’s averaging 11.1. It’s not just because his teammates are just making more shots. LeBron has 19.9 potential assists which is a career high too. His previous high was 16 potential assists and even on the Miami Heat, he was averaging 13 potential assists. There’s also the fact that pace has gone up. Still, he’s also averaging is lowest turnovers since 2013. But, LeBron is averaging his second lowest points per game at 25. He’s had two seasons where he averaged 25.3 points but only in his rookie season did he average less than thaIn fact, this is his 7th worst field goal percentage in a season in his career. But honestly, his offense is comparable to his past self. His number drives are comparable to his previous years, but if you look at the drives themselves, LeBron is bullying opponents. LeBron’s offense is more like 2014-15 where he’s just shrugging them off more and more. There is more of a dominance factor to LeBron.
I know twitter was roasting +/- so let’s forget about that and look at on and off the court stats of this season compared to LeBron’s previous seasons per 100 possessions. And oh look at that, LeBron’s almost at a career high +17.4. LeBron was only a +1.9 on/off, oh yeah, he was one of the worst defenders in the league that year. It makes sense that the 2009 Cavs was his career high.
I think LeBron could do this every year he’s healthy which has been every year but one, but he’s rested and he’s playing less so he can do more in the time he’s playing. I’m excited to see what LeBron does in the playoffs, so far, this season is really giving me 2014-2015 Cavs LeBron vibes from the eye test and the stats show it. But what do you think? Will LeBron win MVP? Will he keep this level up?