LeBron James feels better now than last year approaching playoffs.

The Lakers are leaning on LeBron James as they prepare for their playoff matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.  

This is typical of James' crew. He's always the core of his teams. This Lakers team relies on him as much as any Cavs or Heat club did at 39.  

To upset the odds and win the No. 7 vs. No. 8 play-in game, they'll need both healthy and ready. Anthony Davis may be calling himself 1A, but James is 1B at worst.  

Davis is iffy for the play-in after leaving Sunday's game with back spasms, but LeBron is likely and feels better than last season.  

James stated following Sunday's win over the Pelicans, "Better than I did at the end of the season last year going into the postseason.  

" “Obviously, still dealing with whatever it is—some small things here, some small things there. I was proud of my offseason efforts to fix my ankle, foot, and body.  

“My efforts paid off throughout the regular season…Having played 70-plus games and been available for my teammates, I guess only a few were due to injury or illness, so that's really cool.”  

LeBron averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists last season. He averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists this year. James' numbers, sans his assists, haven't improved much, but the film reveals he has a bounce he didn't have last year.  

LeBron's right foot hindered him during the 2023 playoffs. You saw more layups than dunks and a different explosion on his first step because he couldn't lift.  

It wasn't as important because LeBron was so physical and had great paint shot-making, but it was evident.  

More bounces out of the gym than last year have led to more dunks and speed from the King.  

LeBron is wanted by the Lakers ‘on whatever term that he wants.’ Possible Bronny draft. 

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