Lakers News: LeBron James Willing To ‘Pick My Spots’ With Tough Defensive Matchups Like Kevin Durant
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Lakers, Suns
(Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers put forth a valiant effort against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday even though they ultimately came up short. The defensive effort in the second half was particularly admirable and even saw LeBron James take on the challenge of defending Suns star Kevin Durant.

In his 21st season, it wouldn’t be expected for LeBron to take on the task of defending one of the best pure scorers in NBA history, but with Jarred Vanderbilt and Cam Reddish both out due to injury, James was up to the task.

Following the game, LeBron spoke on matching up with Durant once again who he has plenty of history with, and revealed he’ll be ready to step up and defend other stars in the future as well.

“I could pick my spots, for sure, when it comes to that,” James responded when asked about taking on the challenge of defending other stars. “I know tendencies.

“I’ve had my matchups with KD, KD’s had his matchups with me, we matched up a lot tonight. So it was challenging, especially when you’re trying to push the tempo and make sure you’re getting guys involved and stopping one of the greatest players in the game. But that’s how we’re built. There’s certain guys that are built like that and we’re able to take that challenge. So it was fun to be out on the same floor as KD, that’s for sure.”

LeBron has so much responsibility for the Lakers on the offensive end that ideally he wouldn’t have to also take on the top defensive option as well. But with injuries to key defenders, namely Vanderbilt, sometimes he might be needed to take on those tasks as well and he is willing to do that in order to help this team.

James might be needed to do so again as the Lakers take on the L.A. Clippers in their next game, meaning another matchup with Kawhi Leonard. But if called on, LeBron will be ready to take on that challenge as well as everyone must be willing to do whatever is necessary for the Lakers to get some wins.

LeBron James: Lakers attacking and getting to free throw line is ‘what we do’

Another one of the biggest stories coming out of the game was the Lakers’ lack of free throws. While they shot the ball well from deep, the Lakers only got to the line eight times which is very much unlike them. LeBron James made it clear that the Lakers’ identity involves them attacking the rim and getting to the line.

“That’s who we are,” James said. “But a lot of people…a lot of coaches, a lot of teams is like that’s all the Lakers do is get to the free throw line. It’s like this narrative out there that that’s all we do is get to the free throw line.

“I mean, we have attackers, that’s what we do. We have attackers, yeah, we shoot the ball from the perimeter but we’re not even shooting 40, 50 threes a game. We’re not that team. We don’t have the luxury of being that team, so we’re getting to the paint that’s what we’re really good at. To have eight free throw attempts is definitely not us. I know definitely I got hit a couple of times going to the paint tonight that wasn’t called, but it is what it is.”

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