Pep Guardiola has never coached a national team in his life, yet he might be the most influential international coach of the generation.
LeBron James's New Role
The King Has Arrived
The pattern over the second half of LeBron James' career has been to surround him with shooters, allowing him the freedom to create for both himself and others. It is no coincidence that in his first 7 years (pre-Heat) LeBron averaged 6.9 assists then and in the 8 years since, he's averaged 7.3 assists a game including a career high in each of the last two season topped off by over 9 assists a game last season which was good for second in the NBA and first in the Eastern Conference. That is the blueprint that has led propelled LeBron to 8 straight NBA finals, so surely the Lakers would follow the same blueprint?
Nope. The 2018-19 Lakers return a roster that finished next to bottom in three-point percentage last season while the LeBron led Cavaliers finished 6th. In fact, you could argue that for the first time in his career LeBron will be the best three-point shooter on his own team. So, if they're not surrounding LeBron with elite shooters what exactly is the plan in LA?
The plan is to let LeBron loose on the league as a primary scorer. By not surrounding LeBron with elite shooters, the Lakers have surrounded him with elite playmakers in the likes of Rajon Rondo, Lonzo Ball, and Lance Stephenson. More specifically in the point guard position the Lakers have provided LeBron with two elite playmakers. Rondo is one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history with 3 seasons as the league leader in assists, while Lonzo Ball averaged 7 assists a game last season as a rookie.
For the first time since 08 when he finished the season as the scoring leader, we will see a LeBron James focused on scoring and it will be a sight to behold.
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