LeBron James may have recently returned from a groin strain that kept him out 17 consecutive games, but he is still working his way back to MVP form.
At 34 years old and in his 16th NBA season, James suffered the most significant injury of his career and has been extremely cautious on the court thus far.
Despite not being 100 percent healthy yet and missing the ensuing game after returning due to load management, he is still averaging 23.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists since getting back on the court.
In the 129-128 win over the Boston Celtics, James looked much more like himself and expressed confidence in his progress so far. “As the game went on, I was starting to get more and more back to myself. Every possession, every quarter. Every time I take a hit, I’m able to nudge it off and keep going,” he said.
“I’m working my way back and getting better and better every single minute.”
With the Lakers down by 18 points on the road, James took control of the team’s offense and they Lakers scored 42 points in the third quarter to take a lead.
“In that third quarter, I was able to get back to my point-forward position. Controlling the game, finding my shooters, they were knocking them down, and I was able to get to the paint as well,” James explained.
While it required Rajon Rondo’s game-winner at the end of regulation, it was a much-needed win for James and the Lakers. Considering all of the injuries over the past month and the Anthony Davis trade rumors, it could be a season-changing win.
With the Lakers 1.5 games back of the Clippers for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference, they will look to end their five-year playoff drought.
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