A new season brings new expectations for LeBron James as he seeks another NBA championship. With the 2020-21 season set to begin on Dec. 22, James will once again be counted on to do some heavy lifting for defending champions LA Lakers.
Though LeBron James has the broad shoulders necessary to carry such a huge load, the offseason brought a ton of help for him and fellow All-Star Anthony Davis. Due to the shortened season, there are questions to be answered about what James’ season will look like.
What will The King accomplish this year? How many games is he going to play? Will he rest on his laurels after winning a fourth title?
Let’s dive into 5 bold predictions for LeBron James this 2020-21 NBA season!
5. LeBron James will play in 62 games
LeBron James will play 10 fewer games than the regular season total of 72. After a grueling postseason that culminated in late October, the LA Lakers will find ways for James to rest.
Looking at the Lakers roster, this team might be better than the one last year. This will give the LA Lakers more chances to rest James during the latter half of the season. Don’t be surprised to see LA atop the Western Conference again, with a record of 58-14 and the closest team quite far behind.
4. LeBron James will sign his first NBA player under Nike
This may not be related to LeBron James’ on-court accomplishments, but it’s not a secret that one of his goals is to sign his first athlete under Nike.
James revealed on The Road Trippin’ podcast recently that he wanted to sign Luka Doncic under his brand until Nike axed the idea. The four-time champion won’t take no for an answer for long, and he will land his first signature player before the season ends.
3. Back-to-back assists titles for The King
In his 17th season, LeBron James won his first assists title with a 10.2 assists average. With more offensive weapons by his side on the LA Lakers, James will have a field day dishing the rock to Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, Montrezl Harrell, and Marc Gasol.
Of course, he has mainstays such as Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who will be regular recipients of his passes again this year.
With a team rebuilt to add more scoring punch, especially off the bench, LeBron James is going to rack up 10 to 12 assists on a nightly basis on his way to his second consecutive assists crown.
2. LeBron James will average below 25 points
As LeBron James’ assist totals go up and as the LA Lakers blow out teams with regularity this season, his scoring will go down slightly. He will have games in which he sits out the fourth quarter after going up by double digits by the end of the third.
As his new teammates carry more of the scoring burden, LeBron James can take a back seat on some nights offensively. This will lower his scoring average to around 23 points per game, which would be his lowest average since his rookie season when he put up “only” 20.9 points a night.
1. The King will win his 5th NBA Finals MVP
Yes, this is just as much a prediction about the LA Lakers’ season as LeBron James’ chances at winning another NBA Finals MVP award. Many sports and betting sites are predicting a Lakers title this early and so are we.
That said, perhaps the only question about the Finals is not only who they will face from the Eastern Conference, but also who will win Finals MVP. Anthony Davis may eventually win it but not in 2021. James will add to his numerous individual awards case with another Maurice Podoloff Trophy in hand by the end of the 2020-21 season.
A fifth Finals MVP award will bring LeBron James one step closer to matching Michael Jordan’s record of six, firing up the debate once more about who truly is the greatest of all time.
Published 20 Dec 2020, 17:55 IST