In his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006. While most people can look at the circumstances he played in last season and figure out why his 13-year playoff streak came to an end, there were some people that came to the conclusion that James, 34, is simply washed.
With the first two weeks of the NBA regular season in the books, I think we can safely say James isn’t washed — like, not even a little bit.
Through seven games, James is averaging 26.1 points, 11.1 assists. 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. During that time, no one has been able to match those averages. In fact, no one has even averaged 25 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds per game. James is in a class of his own, like he’s always been.
James is also tied with Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic for the most triple-doubles this season. James has recorded a triple-double in each of the last three games. His latest triple-double came in a comeback win against the Chicago Bulls on the road. He led all players in points (30), assists (11) and was one rebound shy of leading in that category, too.
To top things off, James finished the game with a team-high defensive rating of 97.5. He’s been incredible, and his teammates know it, too.
After the game, Anthony Davis told reporters that he’s in awe of the way James has stepped up on both ends of the floor since the season started (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“He’s playing out of his mind. He’s leading this team. He’s doing it all on both ends of the floor. He’s making the right plays … He’s playing at a high level right now.”
Davis had an off night by his standards in front of his hometown Chicago crowd — tallying just 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks — but with a superstar teammate like James, he’s able to have a rough night and have his team still come out with the win. That has to be a nice change of pace for Davis after six years as the lone superstar in New Orleans.
James might not put up a triple-double every night, but it’s clear that he has a lot left in the tank. With Davis and supporting cast of veterans that has exceeded expectations thus far, there’s no telling as to how far he can take the Lakers.