LeBron James has led his teams to the NBA Finals every year for the last eight seasons and he’s hoping to do the same in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers. While some are already doubting his ability to do that, others, like Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., are hesitant to count out the King just yet.
The former Laker told James Walters of The Sunday Express that it won’t be easy, but a James-led team has as good of a chance as anyone to make the NBA Finals because of how good at basketball he is:
When asked what the target will be for the Lakers this season, Nance Jr exclusively told Express Sport: “They could [get to the Finals].
“With LeBron, anything is possible. I think it’ll be a very tough road because arguably three of the best four teams are out west.
“You’re going to have to go through Golden State, Houston, Oklahoma City - there’s some really good teams out there. Their work is certainly cut out.”
Nance got to experience James’ dominance firsthand in these past NBA Finals, where James put up 51 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in Game 1. The Cavaliers ultimately lost in four games to the Golden State Warriors, thanks in no small part to mental lapses by his teammates, but it showed that James can still carry a team on basketball’s biggest stage.
It’s for that reason the organization, including general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton, are just as confident that James can lead the Lakers to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. His teammates seem more than up for the challenge as well.
Are the Lakers talented enough on paper to get past the Warriors or the Houston Rockets on the way to the NBA Finals? Maybe not. They might not even be more talented than the Utah Jazz or the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But besting James in a playoff series is something only five teams have done in the last eight years. You can doubt James, but to rule him out completely would be silly.
James and the Lakers will officially start their campaign on Oct. 18. At that time we’ll start the process of learning if the Lakers are contenders or pretenders.
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