The Los Angeles Lakers are one game out of the play-in tournament in the Western Conference, and are 2.5 games back of the Dallas Mavericks for the 6-seed. This comes despite the fact that Anthony Davis is only just returning from an injury he suffered back in the middle of December.
The Lakers went 10-10 in the 20 games Davis missed, largely due to the fact that LeBron James continues to just not age. James, who turned 38 last month, averaged 34.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.6 assists in 36 minutes per game during the stretch with Davis on the sideline, and while other players performed admirably with AD out, James shouldered the biggest load.
What makes it more impressive is that Los Angeles appeared to be in major trouble following a 2-10 start to the year but have appeared to right the ship. This has really impressed Tristan Thompson, and during an appearance on ESPN on Friday, James’ former teammate in Cleveland expressed his belief that the Lakers star deserves to get into the MVP consideration if the team can get to the 6 or 7-seed in the West.
Tristan Thompson: "If the Lakers and LeBron can go 8-10 and get to the 6th to 7th seed, he's gotta be in the MVP conversation."
— 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐢𝐧' 𝐍𝐁𝐀 (@_Talkin_NBA) January 27, 2023
Another one of James’ former teammates, Kendrick Perkins could only put his head in his hands. Anyway, as of this writing, James is tied for 10th in MVP odds, so if the Lakers can make that happen, it sure seems like Thompson will get to see him in the conversation for the league’s top individual award.