It was a successful back-to-back set for the Los Angeles Lakers because after beating the Portland Trail Blazers, they earned a solid win over the Dallas Mavericks.
The Lakers have seen a dip in their defensive production the last couple of weeks after playing more quality opponents, but they got back to getting after it on that end as they were able to hold the Mavericks to under 100 points. Dallas only scored 43 points in the first half, a season-low for them and a testament to how well prepared Los Angeles was.
LeBron James had a subpar shooting game (13 points on 3-of-10 shooting) but still recorded a double-double as he added 13 assists on the night.
James reflected on how well he has managed to run the team’s offense the past two games.
“My teammates and coaching staff trust me to play the point and run the show and it’s my job to take care of the ball and just try to put guys in position to be successful,” James said.
“Put the ball on time and on target for threes, for lobs, for dunks, in transition, whatever the case may be. Use my ability, use my vision that I’ve had all my life to just try to see the floor and I’ve been able to do that the last couple of games.”
James was nothing short of astounding on this back-to-back as he compiled 29 assists to only three turnovers, a ratio that is sure to make head coach Frank Vogel and the rest of the coaching staff happy. He has been asked to do most of the playmaking given the state of the roster and the past two games have served as good examples as to why given his ability to make the right read depending on how he is being defended.
Against the Mavericks, James seemed to have no issue finding his bigs on the roll for drop offs or lobs as JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard greatly benefited. When Dallas decided to pack the paint, James did a good job of kicking the ball out to shooters or setting up the extra pass for an open look.
That kind of passing efficiency and ball movement in conjunction with their defense is what will help the Lakers win more games as they move into the second half of the season.