clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

LeBron James is impressed with the Lakers’ talent

New, comments

Big praise for the purple and gold from one of the best players in the NBA.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers battled hard before ultimately losing 119-108 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the reigning NBA Finals MVP was impressed with what he saw from the young team.

“[The Lakers] shot the ball extremely well,” Lebron James said following his team’s victory over the Lakers (as transcribed by the Lakers’ Twitter account). “They’ve got a lot of talent over there and Luke [Walton] has got them playing the right way."

For a player who has taken criticism at certain points in his career for his desire to “play the right way” (i.e. make the extra pass out of a double-team, etc.) no matter the game situation, LeBron praising the Lakers for moving the ball is no small thing.

That is doubly true last night, because for as much praise as the Lakers have received for moving the ball more, the team still ranks fourth from the bottom in the league (53.4 percent) in assist percentage (how many of their field goals are assisted).

That trend flipped in Cleveland on Saturday night, with the Lakers assisting on 73.2 percent of their buckets against the Cavaliers. Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram were especially impressive as playmakers, assisting on 36.2 percent and 28.1 percent of their teammates field goals, respectively.

As LeBron mentioned, the Lakers also shot the ball well, knocking down 43.2 percent of their threes in their loss to the Cavs.

James being so taken with the Lakers is an obvious sign he’s planning to join the team in free agency is a nice sign for how the team has improved this year, despite losing for the ninth time in ten games. Especially because that improvement is the main focus of this season anyway.

All stats per NBA.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.