He’s one of the best players of all time and certainly one of the best playing right now but LA has been moving him around the court and changing his responsibilities again and again.
However, the latest change might be the best one yet.
James has played center a few times now and it’s worked out quite well for the team.
Trevor Ariza gets the start at the 4(?) over Stanley Johnson tonight for Lakers-Kings. LeBron James will start at “center”, once again. pic.twitter.com/6ZFna9pbEH
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) January 13, 2022
In fact, there are many Lakers fans who say that the 6-foot-9 James should be center for the rest of the season – even after Anthony Davis returns from his latest injury.
That is the right move: putting James down low in the paint with AD could be a recipe for success.
Power In The Paint
The Lakers need to do something – anything – to salvage their season and make it far into the postseason.
Right now the team is 21-22 and the eighth team in the Western Conference.
In other words, they shouldn’t be this bad.
Something is wrong and it needs to be righted and part of that is the team’s defense.
On average, LA allows 113.3 points per game which ranks 27th in the NBA.
They’re practically giving away points and it’s not all because of crappy defensive plays from Westbrook.
Davis is the best defender on the team but he’s hurt often and gets little-to-no help when he is playing.
James would give him that help in a big, big way.
Already he has shown that he is very capable of stopping some dangerous shots again and again.
Since AD went down, #LeBronJames has become a full time center, giving him more rim protection and backline duties.
To celebrate his successes, I’ve put together a little montage of all his blocks since then.
— NBAStatGuy (@NBAStatGuy_) January 14, 2022
It’s true that James isn’t as big as other centers in the league so there would be certain games where he would be totally outmatched.
That’s when Davis would come in, playing as a big power forward who is able to physically overpower and block and intimidate opponents.
James would be more of a strategic center behind Davis’ size, deflecting certain shots, grabbing rebounds and making plays, and deciding the tempo of his team.
In many ways, James can play point guard and center at the same time.
If he were to play down low with Davis for most of the game, you would have the two best players on the Lakers roster in the spots that are lacking the most.
When you put it that way, James as center just makes perfect sense, especially with Davis by his side.
Back Away From The Backcourt
The truth is that the Lakers have a bunch of guards.
In fact, they probably have too many.
James should leave the backcourt to these players and shift his focus to protecting the rim and playing in the paint.
This move will require that the Lakers guards get better – a lot better.
Right now, James is the best shooter on the team and if he really is to move to center full time, that can’t be the case.
This is a problem the Lakers have needed to address for some time now so James’ pivot to center should act as an opportunity to finally fix the team’s multiple backcourt woes.
The Lakers need to move James to the center full time – it’s their best and maybe last hope at saving this season.