LeBron is set to be on a minutes restriction this season as part of a long term plan by the Lakers and his teammate Austin Reaves has given his thoughts on it.
Keeping an almost 39-year-old LeBron in the best condition as possible is a no-brainer.
But does keeping him out of the game for longer place more pressure on players like Reaves and the rest of the Lakers supporting crew?
Their shooting guard doesn’t think so.
“I don’t think it changes anything,” Reaves told B/R. “We still have to go out there and play basketball the right way. I’m sure there’s nights where Bron is feeling really well and plays a little more and others when he plays a little less. But at the end of the day, all he cares about is winning. And that’s all we care about as a team.”
In their second regular season against the Suns on Thursday, LeBron played 35 minutes and came alive in the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers to a comeback 100-95 win.
He played the entire fourth quarter.
“He has that spirit, that intensity to put the team on his shoulders,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said. “I went to him and said, ‘How we feeling? What do we wanna do?’ He answered my question (by staying in).”
On opening night against the Nuggets, James only logged 29 minutes, compared to his career average of 38 minutes per game.
After the loss to last year’s champions, Ham explained the reasoning behind playing James for less than 30 minutes.
“It’s easy with him to get caught up in the emotion of the game and you tend to forget you want to play these long stretches, but in order for him to be as effective as possible, we have to be mindful of the minute output and how long his stretches are,” Ham said, per ESPN.