LeBron James had an awkward fall late in the 4th quarter of Friday night’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets. He is reported to have a left knee contusion and is listed as probable for Sunday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings. This season has been a nightmare for LeBron James and the Lakers. The Lakers had hoped that this season would break the five year streak of missing the playoffs but instead it was extended one more year.
LeBron James suffered the first injury of his career that would keep him out for an extended period of time on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors. James was diagnosed with a strained left groin and missed 18 games during an important stretch of the season for the Lakers. LeBron James had never suffered any severe injuries in his 15 previous years in the NBA. Even though LeBron returned to the team January 31st against the Clippers, and totaled 24pts, 14reb, 9assists, in 40 minutes of play, his game was clearly not as explosive. LeBron James injury was clearly not fully healed and he played through it to try to make the playoffs. Unfortunately the Lakers are not in playoff contention anymore and are 10 games under .500.
I believe that LeBron James should consider sitting out the remaining 10 games of this season and focus on this summer. This will be the first time since the 04-05 season that James will miss the playoffs. This early off season for LeBron can be a good thing as it allows him to rest his body more and train for next season. The strained groin and now the left knee contusion are injuries that can heal over time.
LeBron James is also turning 35 years old on December 30 and probably has 2 more years playing at a high level. The ultimate goal for the Lakers and LeBron James is to win a championship. Resting LeBron now will put him in a better position for this summer as he will try to recruit free agents to join him on the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James is averaging 27.4 ppg 8.5 rpg 8.1 apg 1.3 spg on 51% shooting from the field per NBA.com. James is still one of the best players in the league and can continue this play into next season. The biggest decrease in his game has been his defense but prior to the groin injury, LeBron’s defense was pretty good as was the team’s defense.
There is no doubt that LeBron can still defend and help a good defensive team succeed. This is a big summer for LeBron individually and the Lakers as they try to rebuild the roster and compete for a championship next season.
Featured Image: Lebron's Back via www.flickr.com