Has LeBron James Gotten WORSE? (Ft. Some Layups, Lakers, NBA Defense, and Old Highlights)

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Shared March 20, 2019

LeBron James: Has he gotten worse? What about the Lakers? #NBA #LeBron #Lakers
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LeBron James has been so good for so long. But this season has shown us that perhaps he is getting old. The real question is, Is LeBron James getting worse?

If we look at just the stats, LeBron might not look any different. He averaged 27.5 points per game, 9 assists (9.1), and 8.6 rebounds last season. This season he’s averaging 27.5 points, 8 assists and 8.5 rebounds only shooting 3% less from 3 and 3% less from the field. And that’s why stats can be deceiving because just looking at LeBron, something is obviously wrong. He’s the third slowest moving player on defense behind Dirk who is a national treasure at this point, and James Harden who has cleaned up his act, but is questionable on defense. He got blocked by Mario Henzoja for the game. He got blocked by a scrub. The point is even with all the problems this year, LeBron is still one of the great and his possible decline shouldn’t be encouraged so let’s break all this down. And to all those that subscribed, thanks, but now somehow 93% of y’all not subscribed. Most of you tell me you thought you were subscribed, and kinda like LeBron thought the Knicks and Lakers aren’t different, that’s wrong. We’re trying to get that 7% higher than Lonzo’s free throw percentage. So please subscribe.


LeBron James has been so good for so long. And even this season, he’s still one of the best players in the world. But last season, there was debate on whether LeBron was somehow getting better in his 15th season with a not so great roster because he averaged a career high in assists while still averaging 27. And then in the playoffs, LeBron also went bonkers, hitting game winners, making Toronto, LeBronto. He made them his bi----. He averaged 34, 9, and 9 in the playoffs. The Cavs went 50-32 with LeBron playing all 82 games at the age of 33 playing the most minutes in the NBA and went through the Eastern Conference to make the playoffs. His usage rate was 30.6 last season and this season is 30.8, but this season since his playoff mode has been activated, more and more things have went wrong. The Lakers were 28-29 when LeBron said his playoff mode activated and now are sitting at 31-39 meaning 3-10 since playoff mode activated, losing games to the Hawks, Suns, Grizzlies, and the Knicks during this span, all games that are inexcusable, especially for playoff LeBron. He hasn’t been able to lead his team in the clutch either. 7 of those games were decided in the clutch with the Lakers going 2-5 and LeBron bricking free throws shooting 57% from the line in the clutch during those 7 games. LeBron’s shooting 68% from the free throw line and shooting 45% from the field in the clutch which is less than the 55% from the field in the clutch he shot last season. The Cavs were also 30-15 in the clutch last season. He’s driving less and less to the basket in the clutch because he’s not making free throws. Even his finishing seems less prolific. While LeBron is driving to the rim almost as much as last year, he is only shooting 54% on the drive versus 60% last season. It’s not too major but it definitely is not LeBron from last year, not the LeBron that can just consistently carry a team to victory. LeBron only has 4.6 offensive win shares this season which is his lowest since his rookie season. Last season, he had 11 offensive win shares. The best version of LeBron in the regular season was the Miami Heat LeBron, the LeBron that was at the peak of his athleticism and energy levels. He had 14.6 offensive win shares in 2012.

LeBron James was ranked 491st in defensive rating last season along with 321st in defensive win shares. Yeah LeBron was not good defensively. He was horrible. But it was an effort issue. He was taking possessions off and just not really trying. He’s 255th in defensive rating this year and 41st in defensive win shares, more than doubling his win shares from last season, but these stats don’t tell the whole truth. LeBron is barely moving laterally on defense. He fails to switch, fails to rotate, or provide help defense, but he was doing that last season too. He’s not the Miami Heat LeBron that could spend energy on both ends even if defense is winning basketball. The mistakes on defense are more compounded because he’s in LA and because the Lakers are losing so much, every little thing is scrutinized. LeBron in the playoffs ends up providing more on-ball defense in crucial spurts, but even last year’s playoffs didn’t show too much defense. It definitely wasn’t this horrid defense that he’s shown the past two seasons and wasn’t a liability on that end.



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