Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is almost averaging a triple-double with 25.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.0 assists. It is safe to say that James should be in the running for league MVP this season.
The Lakers committed a five-game winning streak on Thursday night with their 116-105 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. The budding energy of the Hornets was challenged by James’ veteran experience.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel believes that James offensive aggression sets the tone for the entire league.
“He’s gonna compete at a super high level and dominate the game,” Vogel said. “He’s the MVP of the league thus far because of that mindset and what he’s doing for our team.”
NBA novices, like 2020 Draft third overall pick LaMelo Ball, were eager to cut their teeth against the reigning champions with a hope to prove themselves worthy of the NBA.
“You could feel his excitement early, he wanted to play well,” said Hornets head coach James Borrego. “I thought he was fantastic there down the stretch, I thought he competed.”
Ball scored 12 points in the fourth quarter alone, ultimately scoring 26 points, but it did not top James’ 37 points, eight rebounds and six assists. According to Vogel, James has been MVP for several years.
“It’s a mistake on the voter’s part to go season after season without voting the best player in the league MVP,” Vogel said.
Since the All-Star break, the Lakers have gone on a five-game winning streak. In two of those games, James secured a triple-double. Throughout his 17 seasons in the NBA, James averaged 27.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists.
“[James] should have been MVP at least eight, nine, 10 times,” Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said. “Everybody knows that.”
Lakers guard Alex Cauro mentioned how opponents tend to double-team him. The Lakers’ ball movement make their efforts futile.
“When you draw the attention, he makes the right decisions to get guys open shots,” said Lakers guard Alex Caruso. “It makes my job easy because I know guys are gonna double-team him. I just kind of find the open shots.”
While competing at the highest level, James is being an MVP off the court. He is now part-owner of the Boston Red Sox, he partnered with Fenway sports group to own the team.
“They’re just amazing to be partners with,” James said. “As far as the Red Sox. Obviously a historical franchise and we know the history of the World series championship they brought back home to Hoston.”
LeBron James were the main sources of scoring for the Lakers at the beginning of the game. Keeping up with James was a team effort and multiple Charlotte players scored.
The Lakers made defensive stops which helped them get a 10-point lead and maintained their dominance through a scoring hiatus. Hornets center Bismack Biyombo made four blocks against the Lakers in the first half to no avail.
The Hornets started the second half with a seven-point run. In five regulated minutes, the Lakers only scored four points. Guard LeMelo Ball led an eight-point run that tied both teams at 64. Kuzma hit three pointers, maintaining the Lakers going into the fourth quarter.
After Ball brought Charlotte within one, Markieff Morris scored five points. Lakers guard Dennis Schröder used his speed to score, he also aggressively defended the Hornets to end the game with 22 points and seven assists. Guard Talen Horton-Tucker and Kuzma scored 12 points each.
The Lakers will battle the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, March 20 at 12:30P.M.