LeBron has adapted a different style of basketball these playoffs and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst thinks its because of his foot injury.
In Game 3 against the Warriors he didn’t attempt a single shot in the first quarter.
The 38-year-old has also been playing off the ball a lot as well, which led to his opponent Draymond Green calling his new role “weird'”
Windhorst explained on ESPN’s Get Up that LeBron is limited with what he can do.
“He’s not playing the way we’ve ever seen LeBron play,” said Windhorst. “He is moderating his energy, sort of going full out, resting while he’s playing. Really, one of the most important things that’s happened in this series is D’Angelo Russell because LeBron has been able to sort of move off the ball, let [Austin] Reaves and let D’Angelo Russell — almost the most important thing that goes on tonight is whether Russell is playing well or not. When Russell is making his shots and LeBron doesn’t have to try to force it, it gives the Lakers so much bigger margin for error.”
LeBron tore a tendon in his right foot during the regular season on Feb 26 against Dallas and missed the next 13 games but opted not to have surgery.
The superstar told media in March at the time of the injury that his doctors told him he healed “faster than anybody before they’ve seen with the injury.”
There were definitely some questions about whether he could return to form.
However, in the six regular season games when he came back, LeBron averaged 22 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists and looked as healthy and motivated as ever.
Having surgery at the end of the season is a possibility, with James hinting at the fact in March.
“Right now, I don’t need it, so we’ll see what happens,” LeBron said. “I’ll probably get another MRI at the end of the season and go from there. But if I end up having to get surgery after the season, you guys won’t know. I don’t talk to you guys in the offseason, and by the time next season starts, I’ll be fine. I’ll be ready to go.”
Game 4 of the Warriors-Lakers series will take place on Monday, 8th May at 7:00PM PT and LeBron is a starter.
He even got to Crypto.com Arena hours early to practice.
The work starts early.
Tip-off at 7 — see you there. pic.twitter.com/OO7Iy9oAmh
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 8, 2023