The Los Angeles Lakers need to manage LeBron James' minutes; that's just a fact. He's playing 36.3 minutes a night at age 38, which would be unsustainable for nearly every other NBA player in history.
James is single-handedly trying to will his team into wins. And one doesn't have to be a basketball mastermind to realize that a team needing a 38-year-old to put up 40 a night to have a shot at winning is a flawed team, to say the least.
However, with Anthony Davis out for the foreseeable future with a foot injury, there's just no way the Lakers can afford to have LeBron off the court. That's a major concern for first-year coach Darvin Ham.
NBA News: Lakers Coach Darvin Ham Feels Bad For LeBron James
"I feel bad about that [playing him a lot of minutes]," Ham said postgame. "He's playing at an amazing level, but again we can't run him in the ground. That was one of my main goals coming into this season."
"Here he is again with 36 and a half again tonight, but we just have to manage him and have clarity in terms of scaling back his minutes and, again, the non-game days being smart. His preparation is always on point," Ham explained. "It is a concern — and my staff and I — we talk about it all the time. But It's tough because he's such a competitor, and we're in these games and he wants to win, we want to win, so you kind of lose sight until after the game when you check the stat sheet."
James continues to defy Father Time, but a major injury at this point in his career could be catastrophic. Hopefully, that won't be the case, but the fans will have to blame Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss if that happens.