Luke Walton facing a critical LeBron James' challenge

Luke Walton facing a critical LeBron James' challenge

LeBron James's arrival in Los Angeles this season instantly put the Lakers in the National Basketball Association playoff conversation, but the superstar admits he's still figuring out how best to make his less experienced teammates better. I think (Thursday) was one of those instances where they looked at me and they wanted me to close the game. "I've got to make sure I'm good". After missing a three-pointer to open the quarter, he grabbed a rebound and assisted on a Brandon Ingram dunk. Just 20 games into the season, it seems Walton is falling into the bucket of David Blatt and Mike Brown: coaches who couldn't hold authority over the sharpest basketball mind on the planet. "The success we had past year, it wasn't just me". Then there was the hope that the team could manage LeBron's minutes "better" than the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to, a notion that's already started to crumble as he's averaging 35 minutes per game.

The Lakers boss just can't let #PlayGate (#IgnoreGate?) go.

Magic Johnson believes the Los Angeles Lakers' trajectory is pointed up. "We want to get up and down".

"Basically minutes, trying to make sure we don't overplay him and then also usage of the ball in his hands", Johnson said.




James acknowledged in October the Lakers want to reduce his minutes, but the four-time MVP said he still feels strong enough to play most minutes. But hey, we're the Lakers.

Walton said that any team with a player of James's caliber will rely on that player at times.

You knew this was going to happen eventually.

"We're playing up and down", Johnson said.

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