Lakers’ LeBron James cites being injury-free as the reason for his newfound defensive intensity
Los Angeles Lakers fans have every reason to rejoice, as the team have won five straight games and have zoomed to the top of the Western Conference standings with a 5-1 record. One of the reasons behind their early success is the prolific play of superstar LeBron James, who has emerged as one of the early candidates for the Most Valuable Player award this season.
James, who only played a career-low 55 games in his first season with the Lakers last year, is back to 100 percent after dealing with a myriad of injuries that sidelined him for a prolonged time.
He attributed his resurgence to finally being healthy, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“I’m playing injury free. I’m not injured. My quick twitch is back. My speed is back, my strength is back,” James said after the Lakers’ 103-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
“Playing with a torn groin last year — even when I came back it was still partially torn — it was difficult to be able to move and shift like I’m capable of doing that defensively,” James said. “For me, I just take the challenge. I love being challenged. Coach [Frank Vogel] challenged me, AD [Anthony Davis] challenged me, I challenged myself.
James captured his second consecutive triple-double of the season against the Spurs, notching 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists in 37 minutes of action.
The team rebounded nicely from their defeat at the hands of the Clippers on opening day and has looked like a legitimate title contender under James and Anthony Davis’ watch.