The Lakers avenged their recent road loss to the Pelicans with a win in L.A. on Wednesday night to get off a two-game losing skid and, at least briefly, right the ship in their quest for a playoff berth.
LeBron James had a typical monster performance, with 33 points, 10 assists, and six boards in the win, capping off the night with a dagger fadeaway three to seal the victory. While LeBron has looked like his normal self offensively, much like last year there are questions about his defensive effort and effectiveness this season.
Those questions have only been exacerbated after his groin injury, as his defensive impact has slipped fairly significantly since returning from that injury. James has insisted he’s going into playoff mode early this year, as the Lakers need a full LeBron effort just to claw their way to the postseason. There are still doubters, though, that he’ll be able to drag them there and his defense is a major reason why.