Better Lakers Means Better LeBron!
Why a 35-year old LeBron James is primed to enjoy his best season ever and win his fourth NBA championship, fifth MVP, and fourth Finals MVP
While the Lakers may have missed out on Kawhi Leonard, the roster Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ front office have surrounded LeBron James with could be the best the King has played with in his sixteen years in the NBA.
No disrespect to Dwyane Wade but LeBron James never had an opportunity to be paired with a dominant big man in his prime like 26-year old Anthony Davis, a six-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA and All-Defensive player. LeBron and AD are going to be an unstoppable force much like Kobe and Shaq were for the Lakers. None of the superstar duos on opposing teams complement each other or fit together as well as Bron and the Brow do.
What sets LeBron James and Anthony Davis apart from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, or even Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is their skillset and fit. They’re not only the lone superstar duo comprised of two players who were picked #1 overall in their respective NBA drafts but they’re also the only duo whose elite skillsets fit perfectly with minimal overlap or duplication.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the only superstar duo that can truly play all five positions on the court, score the ball from all three levels, and compete to lead their team in points, assists, and rebounds every game. Their diverse skillsets and positional versatility give them a transcendent dimension duos like Leonard and George, Harden and Westbrook, Curry and Thompson, or even Durant and Irving cannot come close to matching.
While LeBron prefers to play the three and AD the four, both are capable of playing up or down a full position. There will be times Lakers’ opponents can expect to see a front court duo of LeBron at the four and AD at the five. That’s the diversity that none of the other superstar duos, even Durant and Irving, have the pure physicality or front court skillsets to match. It’s why LeBron and AD are without question the best superstar duo in the NBA.
Superstar duos of small forwards or guards like Leonard and George, Curry and Thompson, Harden and Westbrook, or Durant and Irving are limited by position and skillsets from impacting a game the way James and Davis can. While they all can score points big time, none of them create plays for others, dominate the boards, protect the rim, or control the game in the way that LeBron James and Anthony Davis together are capable of doing.
What’s going to unleash career years for LeBron James and Anthony Davis is the great job Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ front office did building a dynamic and diverse roster to complement and unleash their superstars. Kudos for the savvy cap space moves to retain Kyle Kuzma, the signing of elite role players like Danny Green, Jared Dudley, and Avery Bradley, and the inspired move to convince DeMarcus Cousins to sign with the Lakers.
Unlike last season when Magic Johnson decided that toughness and playmaking was more important than shooting, the Lakers’ front office made sure to surround LeBron and AD with elite shooting in the form of Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels, and Jared Dudley, who are all career 40% three-point shooters. Just as important, signing DeMarcus Cousins will give the Lakers an elite stretch-five center to spread the floor.
The NBA is a matchup game and there’s no team in the NBA that has the personnel to match up against LeBron and Anthony Davis. ESPN and its NBA pundits seem to have forgotten just how good LeBron James can be. We’re going to see LeBron James post the best year in his sixteen year career. He’s going to win his fourth NBA championship, fifth MVP, and fourth Finals MVP. Better Lakers means better LeBron and vice-versa.