The LA Lakers hosted the Portland Trail Blazers last night, and LeBron James put in a spectacular performance. The home fans were treated to a scintillating night of basketball, and the highlight of the game was an incredible layup by Malik Monk early in the fourth quarter.
Following a season-high 43-point performance from LeBron James, the Lakers blew out the Trail Blazers 139-106. It was a dominating performance from the tip-off, and the Lakers never gave up the lead.
For a team that has been struggling, it was an exhilarating win, and the fans needed such an emphatic victory. The Lakers have struggled for the majority of the season, and have always cut it close. Given how poorly the team has played, Crypto.com Arena was buzzing with this victory.
LeBron James was blown away by Monk's jaw-dropping layup in the fourth quarter and has taken to social media platform Instagram to commend the shooting guard. Via Instagram story, he said:
It was a move made popular by the legendary Michael Jordan and is undeniably difficult to execute. Regardless, Monk did a great job at finishing and got the and-1 opportunity.
Malik was the second-best scorer for the Lakers behind LeBron James last night. He finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds, and an assist.
LeBron James has been dependable for the Lakers
The Lakers have played 37 games so far this season and LeBron James has missed 12 of them. Nonetheless, he is by far the team's best player and is playing at an MVP-caliber level.
Although his efforts have not translated to wins for his team, it will be unfair to not laud James' performances so far. The four-time NBA champion has been in and out of the lineup due to several reasons, including injuries, suspensions, and covid-19 protocols. But in the 25 games he has featured in, the Lakers have a 13-12 record.
It is popular knowledge that LeBron James is one of the greatest to ever pick up a basketball, but no one is expected to be performing at such levels in his 19th year. LBJ has been a scoring machine since he maintained some consistency in the lineup. He leads the league in 30-point games and has outscored every other NBA player in the last 17 games.
Unfortunately, the Lakers have been plagued with injuries and covid-19 protocols and are yet to put together a winning run. The Lakers have not won four games in a row despite LeBron James' improved scoring.
The onus is on LeBron to deliver victories, and you could argue that he has done all that he can do to help the team. Expecting the teammates to perform at LeBron's level might be a big ask, but they need to perform almost at the same level if they are to have any chance at success this season.