“Clearly, I’d love for your own team to maintain the postseason,” James said after the Lakers’ 123-107 triumph over the Bulls on Tuesday. “Even though I am not a part of it, the postseason I’ve always loved. But right now it is maybe not the hand I was dealt, and that means you play with the hand that you just were dealt until the dealer shuffles the cards and you are dealt the other hand and certainly will do that.”
L.A. trails the Utah Jazz by 6½ matches for its eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 15 matches to playwith. But having signed a four-year contract with the Lakers past summer, there may well be many more hands to be played in L.A.
“Definitely I’ll be watching it when we aren’t in there, also it looks like that our chances are slim to none after each and every game, and so many clubs at the West are playing well,” James said. “So that you try to get improved, but that will not be the last time I’ll be in the postseason.”
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Lakers. James turned into a performance that was classic, adding 36 points on 15-for-23 shooting — for example a few highlight-worthy dunks — to go with 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals in 33 minutes.
Inspite of the Lakers planning to cut back James’ moments for the rest of the season — with the 32-minute range being a guidepost — coach Luke Walton has been ready to sub James straight back in the game with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter along with his team up by 10, sending him to the scorer’s table to check in.
In the event the lead dwindled in to single digits, James was prepared to close things out and bring his moments total to 36 and more when an abysmal session has been needed.
“He was moving back in,” Walton said. “He understood that depending on how a one or two baskets moved while he was at the scorer’s table, he was going to complete out that game for people. And he wants to. However, as soon as we moved to the rush we put him straight back to the seat.”
James said that Tuesday’s game – somewhat futile because it was contrary to a Bulls team that came into the nighttime 30 matches under .500 – was a nod to his general strategy to the game.
“I really actually don’t discuss [being professional], that is exactly what I live,” James said. “You guys ask me questions I answer questions, however I live being professional. Regardless of what’s going on. You finish out strong.
At the absence of an actual postseason run by the Lakers,” James said his team may use the rest of its road trip with matches against playoff-bound teams in Toronto, Detroit and Milwaukee as a sort of playoff proxy.
“We are still playing with musical teams,” James said. “for the young guys, to be able to play Baseball teams on the trail it’s very key for their evolution still. We have a chance on this roadtrip we go in to Toronto our second match , we go in to Detroit who is a playoff team, we go in to Milwaukee by the finish of the excursion. All softball clubs, all of excellent teams. Those games will be similar to playoff games when we need them to be. They’ll find a chance to master and I get the chance to play with them, so we can take that out of it for sure.”
Back in Game No. 6 7 of Year No. 16 to get James, the four-time MVP gave the visiting fans a show worth the cost of entrance, taking one socket pass off the bounce from Kyle Kuzma and ending with a two handed doubleclutch reverse dip and another pass off the backboard from Josh Hart that he slammed dwelling and punctuated with a shimmy on the baseline once he landed.
Did James feel especially resilient with this Windy City nighttime?
“I always feel bouncy,” James said.
In a season that’s dropped flat, it was a possible preview of exactly what James might still have instore for his Lakers tenure.
“That is exactly what he can,” said Walton. “He got out in transition a few times on those. However he wants to win. He is one of those alltime excellent winners that our game has ever seen. I realize that (missing the movie ) has never happened to him since early, early, early in his career. Therefore he is frustrated with this , too, and he is continued to fight there and he also did an extremely nice job of helping individuals get a win tonight”