“That’s the challenge of things I’ve been kind of battling with since the season started,” James said after scoring 38 points in 38 minutes against Indiana, adding 9 rebounds and 7 assists. “How much do I defer and allow some of our young guys to kind of try to figure it out, and how much do I try to take over games? I think tonight was one of those instances where they looked at me and they wanted me to close the game.”cheap official nike nfl jerseys
He did just that, checking in with 7 minutes, 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter with the Lakers clinging to a four-point lead after leading by as many as 24 in the first half. With James leading the charge by scoring 12 points in the period, L.A. pushed the lead back to double-digits and secured the win, snapping a two-game skid to improve to 12-9.
Seeing James take over a game is nothing new, but earlier in the day Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said L.A. is trying to manage its star differently than the Cleveland Cavaliers did last year.
“We are trying to make sure that we watch his minutes but also that we don’t run everything through him, because now it is Cleveland all over again, and we don’t want that,” Johnson said in an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “We want to get up and down.”nfl nike jerseys cheap china
Coming into Thursday, James was leading the Lakers’ point guards in both assists (6.7 per game) and touches (79.3 per game) according to data compiled by Second Spectrum. Rajon Rondo was second at 6.5 assists and 60.8 touches, and Lonzo Ball was third with 4.5 assists and 53.5 touches.
“I figured I wouldn’t have the ball in my hands as much coming into the season knowing we have multiple ball handlers on our team with Zo and ‘Do,” James said. “BI [Brandon Ingram], Lance [Stephenson], Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] as well. Those guys have the ability to make plays as well. But I’m available any time we need a play to be made. … [It] is a challenge for me and is an adjustment for me. It’s whatever it takes to try to help our ball club be as great as we can be toward the end of the season. And at the same time getting better every day.”
James has a usage rate of 30.8, according to NBA Advanced Stats, ranking eighth in the league, in 34.97 minutes per game, which would be a career low. Last season, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, James’ usage rate was identical — 30.8 — while he played 36.9 minutes per game.