The Los Angeles Lakers have reasons to believe again now that they pulled off a huge win over the star-studded Phoenix Suns. LeBron James put the team on his back to get the victory, but he also counted on his teammates when it mattered the most.
Following a poor start in the first quarter, the purple and gold bounced back, taking control of the game in the second half. While The King was the biggest reason behind their comeback, Anthony Davis also played his part but role players were helpful too. Cam Reddish came up with massive three-pointers in clutch moments of the game, proving James right.
LeBron has constantly looked for Reddish during the game, often passing him the ball to let him shoot. The former Knicks star didn’t do great at the beginning, but he ended up scoring crucial points for the win. Overall, Reddish logged 17 points in 28 minutes.
“Because I know how talented he is,” James said when asked why he trusted so much in Reddish, via Spectrum SportsNet. “I just think he’s had a rough couple years to his career. He’s been a few places and hasn’t made the mark that he thought that he would make with his ability. So obviously I was kind of surprised that we was able to get him this summer.”
Throughout his career, James has always embraced a leadership role. But now that he’s 38, LeBron knows that he has to embrace that even more. The 4x NBA champ understands how much he can help his teammates. “It’s my job to instill confidence and instill a sense of, I don’t know, a care factor in him and some of the other young guys as well. It’s more than just basketball for me when I have the opportunity to be around guys that are trying to make a mark in this league.”
James helps Reddish redeem himself
The confidence shown by James on Friday should mean a lot for Reddish considering what happened at the beginning of the week, when they lost to the Miami Heat by just one point.
In the dying seconds of the game, the Lakers had possession of the ball to try and turn things around. In their final play, James set up an opportunity for Reddish to try a three-pointer, but he missed the shot and the Lakers lost.
Despite the criticism he faced for that decision, James continued to look for an open Reddish against the Suns, and this time it worked. In fact, Reddish scored the three-pointer that sealed the deal late in the fourth quarter.
SURVEY Will Cam Reddish help the Lakers go further than last year?
Will Cam Reddish help the Lakers go further than last year?
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“To all the naysayers and basketball savants that don’t know nothing about basketball telling me I should’ve shot that shot in Miami instead of passing to Cam Reddish, well I did the same thing tonight because I trust my teammates and I make the right play every single time,” James told ESPN.
Lakers aiming to build on last season
The outlook has significantly changed for the Lakers since Rob Pelinka rebuilt the roster at the February trade deadline last season. The purple and gold went from struggling to get in Play-In spots to making the Conference Finals, but this year they hope to go further.
At the end of the day, last season’s efforts weren’t enough to compete against eventual champs Denver Nuggets, so the team made even more moves in the summer. Pelinka was especially attentive to the free agency, landing Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes, Christian Wood, and Cam Reddish.
The Lakers’ roster scheme, however, drew some early criticism as they lost three games in a row before the win in Phoenix. The season is just getting started, so only time will tell whether they have what it takes to contend. Of course, much of their aspirations will probably come down to LeBron and AD’s health.