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LeBron James is Playing Less Minutes Than Ever and the Lakers Have the Best Record in the NBA

By Stephen Douglas
LeBron James
LeBron James / Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
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LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have the best record in the NBA at 9-3, a .750 winning percentage. You could point out it's very early in the season, but if James Harden has seen enough to say the Rockets don't have it this year, there's certainly enough existing evidence that the Lakers do.

The most troubling part of all of this for the rest of the league is LeBron's participation in these games. Danny Green suggested that LeBron and others might skip early-season games because of the shortened off-season. Instead, he's played in the Lakers' first 12 games this season. He hasn't even rested yet. Unless you count the fact that he's playing a career-low in minutes per game for the third consecutive season. He's down to just 32.3 minutes a night and his production has not fallen off at all. His points, rebounds and assists per 36 minutes are all above his career averages.

Anthony Davis has missed two games this season and is also playing 32 minutes a night. That's his lowest MPG since his rookie season. Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol and Markieff Morris have all played in every game this season.

The Lakers are deep and the Lakers are good. They have guys consistently playing and no one is overstretched. They're perfectly set up to navigate the season, even if the NBA is not. Even if LeBron does start to take some more time off, they have a roster that can still win games. And when the postseason comes around, they'll probably be the top seed in the Western Conference, maybe the whole league. And LeBron and AD will be rested. It's just a lot of bad news for the rest of the league. There's no other way to say it.

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