The TRUTH About LeBron James At Point Guard For The Lakers (Ft. NBA Height)
LeBron James is going to play point guard for the Lakers in the NBA. With Anthony Davis, everyone thinks this is OP, but is it? #NBA #Lakers #LeBron
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It feels weird to call LeBron James a point guard, but at the same time, it feels right. LeBron’s been the guy running offenses for years. It almost seems unfair to run him as the official point guard. But there’s also some major flaws that are just glossed over so I wanted to get to the bottom of all these expectations of LeBron as a point guard.
Now LeBron will most likely play a combination of positions with multiple lineups, but at the start of games and most likely in their crunch time lineup, LeBron will be the point guard. I think the thing people focus on the most about LeBron at point guard is his size. And that’s for good reason. LeBron’s 6’ 8 which makes him the 3rd tallest point guard in the NBA right behind Ben Simmons and Isaac Bonga, the Laker legend. But he’s the only one out of the 3 that can shoot. Last year, he only shot 34% from 3. It’s not elite, but last season was also a wreck. LeBron shot 33% on off dribble threes which is important for all ball handlers. For comparison, Curry shot 41.5% and Durant shot 31%. We think of both of them as pretty could off dribble 3 point shooters, but there’s a wide spectrum of efficiency. The main thing is that LeBron can make them and put enough pressure on the defense. There’s also this idea that LeBron at point guard means that there’s going to be some point guard guarding him, like Stephen Curry, but I don’t think any NBA defense would do that. LeBron’s combination of speed and size is what has made him a freak of nature. He’s as fast as a guard, but with a weight of 250, no one could stay in front of him if he just pushed through.
But who do you put on LeBron? In fact, what even is the right size to bother LeBron? To answer that, I looked up all the defenders who had the most success against LeBron. And the answers weren’t all that shocking except for one factor. Most of LeBron’s defenders throughout the years have been small forwards and power forwards. One of the obvious answers was Kawhi Leonard. Just look at LeBron when he sees Kawhi. There had to be players that weren’t the best defenders on everyone, but could bother LeBron, and surprisingly, it was Kevin Durant. While Kevin Durant didn’t have the size or weight to stop LeBron from getting to where he wanted on the court, he had the quickness and length to bother LeBron. LeBron’s even said Kevin Durant’s probably played the best defense on him other than Kawhi.
So defenses will most likely match up a faster forward onto LeBron. There’s no way to stop LeBron, but you gotta put someone on him so he doesn’t do whatever he wants.And that’s the beauty of running LeBron at point guard. He’ll make everyone else’s life easier.
The rest of what LeBron brings will be the same old LeBron, but what people aren’t focusing on is that with all that size comes certain downfalls. Just like LeBron is an offensive mismatch, he also becomes an odd man out when it comes to defense. What position does LeBron guard and do all the shifts in defensive assignments actually work for the Lakers? For instance, you don’t want to end up in a situation where Kyle Kuzma somehow ends up guarding the point guard because that would be uhhh... At the same time, you don’t want LeBron guarding a point guard or shooting guard. Let’s just say last season wasn’t the best defensive effort. Alright, I do think that if LeBron puts his mind to it, he can still be a great defender. LeBron’s been an ALL-NBA 1st team defender, but with his offensive load, LeBron needed to take a breather defensively. Even with a guy like Anthony Davis, LeBron will still have a sizeable offensive load, and so running after quick guards hardly counts as a breather. He’s in his 17th season and with all this mileage on his body, it doesn’t make sense to have LeBron guard anyone but forwards or big, slower shooting guards. But with that being said, I’m not sure how you can have a lineup with LeBron, Kuzma, and Davis on the floor together if AD wants to play power forward. If Anthony Davis plays center, Kuzma can guard the 4, and LeBron guards the 3, but then there would be 2 Lakers guards with those 3 and it becomes a more normal lineup without LeBron playing point guard. That just defeats the whole purpose because then there are no offensive benefits because LeBron is no longer playing point guard.
So LeBron at point guard might seem like hacks and it could be on some rosters, but it’s not as simple as it seems with the Lakers current roster. But what do you think? How will LeBron play this season? Will the Lakers win the championship?