There are few players as exciting as LeBron James. He has been a dominant force since he started in the league as a teenager. It’s hard to even remember a time bride LeBron. He’s taken over the sport in such a big way it feels like we’ve been living in the era of LeBron. And perhaps we are. The team he plays for seems to make the championship no matter what. Well, maybe not quite. But the past eight seasons this has been true.
He faces more competition in the West than he has in the Eastern Conference in recent years. And his supporting cast on the Lakers looks to be less impressive than teams he’s played on in previous years.
But LeBron is LeBron. If anyone can come into a new franchise and turn it into a Finals contender, it’s him.
Who Is James Playing With?
LeBron isn’t the older seasoned player on the Lakers this year. He has guys playing with him who have been around. This is good news for any teams with hopes of competing in the playoffs. Younger players historically have more difficulty down the stretch in high pressure situations.
James often brings the ball up the court even though he isn’t a point guard. That being said, it’s good to have more than one look. Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo can provide just that.
Rondo and LeBron have gelled quickly. They are both guys with many years of experience and high basketball IQs. Last year, Rondo averaged 12.2 points per game as he took the Pelicans to the second round of the playoffs.
LeBron made comments before he even signed with the Lakers that he wanted to play with smart guys like Rondo. Rondo has reciprocated the feeling. He knows that he won’t be the center of attention playing with LeBron. And he’s fine with it. Rondo has played on some good teams in the past and he knows how to play his role.
The two players have a few things in common that may help them get along on the court. Rondo and James both have amazing court vision. They seem to know where each player is and how to get him the ball. Both are excellent passers. Having two guys on the floor who can distribute the ball so well could be extremely helpful for the Lakers this season. But of course we have to see if Lonzo Ball steps it up and becomes the point guard he touted to be.
Beasley is another guy to watch for on the Lakers. He and LeBron have team up before. In his last year in Miami, LeBron played alongside Beasley, so the pair know each other well. Beasley can be another scorer for L.A. and also have lots of experience in the league.
Beasley may be playing different position depending on what the team needs at a given time. Recently L.A. has been trying him at center during the preseason. He may be able to provide some size down low and open things up for LeBron on the perimeter; not that LeBron needs much help with that.
The younger players, including Ball, may have to step it up this season as well for the Lakers to have a shot at going anywhere in the playoffs. But they stand a good chance of learning a thing or two from their new leader from Cleveland.