Can LeBron James Lead The Los Angeles Lakers To Another NBA Championship In 2021?
26 October 2020
The 2020 NBA Finals may have just recently ended, but like all sports, after one success has been achieved, the attention quickly turns to how the winning side can improve to win back-to-back championships. One massive component of that is the leading man, as there will be more pressure on LeBron James to maintain his seriously high standards once again.
It was another season without a LeBron James injury, and that was a huge plus for the Lakers, as injury to their star man could have all but ended their chances of winning the championship. Such is the importance of the 35-year-old; fans are often checking the LeBron James injury status to see if the star is fit.
Fortunately for fans, there was no LeBron James injury update throughout the 2020 playoffs, which meant nothing stood in their way from winning a first championship in ten years. But, will they be able to repeat that?
Pressure On James Again
It comes with the territory of being the best player in the league, and one of the greatest of all-time, and James will know that the pressure will once again be on his to perform at his peak level. The Lakers are constantly the favourites in the NBA predictions tonight when they play because of the talent of their star man. The Lakers will also be boosted with the talent of Anthony Davis alongside him, but a LeBron James injury could de-rail everything that they are hoping to build.
The success against the Miami Heat means that James is now a four-time NBA champion, having previously won the championship in 2012, 2013 and 2016. It is also the third different franchise that James has won the championship with. James was also named as the Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career, and he will be looking to continue that run next season.
James has certainly been the man for the big occasion in the playoffs throughout his career, as he has constantly averaged over 20 points per game. Last season he averaged 27.6 points per game in the playoffs for the Lakers, which was down on the averages that he was recording in the playoffs for his last two appearances for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Looking at his stats in the playoffs, it could be argued that James wins championships when he has another player alongside him to carry the load.
James Post-Season Stats
His highest average in the playoffs came in the 2009 season, as he averaged 35.3 points per game, but James didn’t end the season reaching the finals. James’ highest average as a winning finalist came in the 2012 season, as he averaged 30.3 points as the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals. The following season was the only back-to-back success that James has achieved, but he only averaged 25.9 points in the playoffs, which was the lowest that he has averaged in the post-season.
However, that Heat side was a phenomenon, as it also included players of the calibre of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. It isn’t known at the minute whether the Lakers have that same quality, but Davis is certainly one of the stars that lifted his game in the finals this year against the Heat. In the post-season, Davis averaged 27.7 points per game, which was higher than the average he was achieving during the regular season. Basketball remains a team sport, and James will need all the help that he can get if he is to claim a second career back-to-back success.
What Could Go Wrong For The Lakers?
If sport was as clear cut as the best player winning the championship every year, then it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it is. There are so many factors that could go wrong during the season, with the biggest concern for the Lakers being a LeBron James injury. The Lakers saw James pick up the first major injury of his esteemed career in his first season with the franchise, as he suffered a groin injury.
The impact that an injury could have on the franchise was highlighted in that season, as the Lakers had to deal without James for 17 games and quickly fell out of contention to make the playoffs. That would have hurt James more than most, as it was the first time since 2005 that he wouldn’t have been playing in the post-season. It’s clear that a James injury completes decimates what the Lakers could achieve next season.
LeBron James has been fully fit since returning to action at the beginning of the 2019-20 NBA season.
LeBron James has only been injured seriously once in his career, and that came during his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers.