It goes without saying that LeBron James is one of the greatest players to ever do it. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent and perhaps the ultimate player when it comes to being able to do it all. However, he had lost his reputation of being a good defender towards the past couple of years.
However, it seems like NBA analysts beg to differ with that narrative. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, they actually believe that LeBron James is a better defender than Anthony Davis:
“I asked the analytics guys around the league to tell me about who’s the best defensive forward. A few of them came back and said our stuff ranks LeBron as the best defender on the Lakers and not Anthony Davis,” Lowe said on his Podcast.
To be fair, LeBron James has been everywhere in the defensive end this season. He vowed to being a dominant defender again at the start of the year and has lived up to that promise ever since.
Then again, being a better defender than one of the greatest rim protectors to ever do it and a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate may seem like a bit of a stretch right now, even if the advanced stats say so.
It’s also true that Anthony Davis’ presence has taken a huge burden off LeBron James’ shoulder in the offensive end of the floor. He’s been fresh, healthy, and with enough energy to leave it all on the hardwood in order to get a stop.
Perhaps the thing that impresses us the most about LeBron James has to be his durability. Almost 36 years old, 17 years in the league and he’s still ranked near the top in multiple categories. That’s just unprecedented, both in terms of the eye test and stats.