When LeBron James scored a playoff career-high 51 points in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, Kevon Looney was the Golden State Warriors’ starting center. James was unstoppable in that game, single-handedly destroying the Warriors’ defense. No matter who switches on him, including Looney, he can hold his own against James’ superhuman strength.
Looney has a chance to save that and recent versions of LeBron, which are a far cry from where the Lakers star was five years ago. In an interview with Sportskeeda’s Mark Medina, Looney compared the two different versions of LeBron, saying:
“It’s different. LeBron scored 51 points in the first game against us in 2018. He was at the top of his game in that series. He probably controlled the game more and was involved in that series. every play and every timeout.
“I think last year he was more like going with the flow and picking his spots. He was going to make plays at certain points in the game. In ’18, he was always there, controlling every possession and every play.” “Last year, I picked took his place.”
Kevin Looney is in no way suggesting that LeBron James doesn’t have an impact. He said the Lakers star still has “control” of his team. However, James is now more willing to let his teammates take some of the pressure.
“He’s still in control,” Looney said. “Even listening to his voice, you know where he is. But he’s going to let Austin Reeves control the ball a little bit. He’s going to let D-Lo (D’Angelo Russell) come in. He’s picking his spots. More sensible.”
Click here Read the exclusive scoop from Mark Medina and Kevon Looney.
LeBron James confuses Golden State Warriors with passivity in 2023 playoffs
“Father Time” is catching up with LeBron James. This is especially true in his 20th NBA season. James suffered a foot injury in February that took several months to recover, further reducing his impact. However, James rushed back to the court to help the Lakers gain a favorable seeding in the Western Conference playoffs.
In order to ensure that energy was retained at critical moments of the game, James took a more passive approach and let other players such as Anthony Davis, Austin Reeves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura lead the way. Team. James often stood in the corner and only played when the Lakers needed him most.
This is the first time in his career that he has taken this approach. The core of the Warriors who faced him in the final four rounds was also confused about what exactly LeBron James was doing.
“It’s funny, you’re not used to seeing LeBron running without the ball, so I think that’s interesting and something we have to get used to. It’s not your typical LeBron-dominated game, which is a little weird,” Draymond said. Green said on his podcast.
James trusts his teammates to make the right plays, even in critical moments. He didn’t control everything, but it’s undeniable that “King James” once again did what was best for the team in this situation, and the results showed it.
Los Angeles defeated the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, handing the Golden State Warriors their first loss in the Western Conference playoffs under Steve Kerr. The Lakers unexpectedly made it to the conference finals, so there isn’t much room to complain about LeBron James’ approach.