The Los Angeles Lakers grabbed their first win of the preseason that saw them pull ahead of the Sacramento Kings 128-123 on Thursday night.
Beyond that, it was yet another opportunity for LeBron James to get more playing time on the court with his new teammates ahead of the start of the regular season. James put together a strong outing in limited action all in the first half that saw him put up 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor along with hitting all six of his free throw attempts with four assists and three rebounds in 16 minutes played
James paced the team in the second quarter by helping push the team into the lead prior to halftime with his offense getting to the rim off the dribble. More notable than that was the intensity level with the team picked up behind his play while there was more attentiveness off the bench near the close of the second quarter.
Following the game, James voiced much optimism about where he stands physically at this point in training camp and the preseason ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
“I felt really good tonight,” James said. “I have been feeling really good throughout training camp and throughout these preseason games but tonight I felt really really good. I was able to get some good pace, get some good rebounds, and get out. I got a couple of isos where I was very efficient. I was also very good at the free throw line. When you see the ball go through the rim at the free throw line it makes more comfortable offensively. That is good for myself.”
This is quite an encouraging sign as James showed more comfort on the floor in finding his spots while getting his teammates involved as he is developing a strong two-man game with third-year forward Brandon Ingram, who had a game-high 31 points in the win. It has already given off the strong impression that this will be one of the focal points throughout this upcoming season that the team will lean on.
Beyond that, there are four more preseason games for James and Lakers to get more time together on the court to get a better feel for each other and build their chemistry. There is no clarity about how the 33-year-old will be involved in those games, but these next couple of weeks could prove to be highly beneficial to the team.
Bob Garcia IV
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