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LeBron James had a lot at stake going into this season after missing the playoffs last year. He has had a great regular season, but this year’s MVP plays in Milwaukee. However, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA title will help James reclaim an unofficial title: the best player in the world.
The best player in the world is not always the NBA MVP. If that were true, Michael Jordan would have more than five MVP awards. James held the title for a long run during his time in Cleveland and Miami, but his grip began to loosen.
Kevin Durant did not win an MVP trophy during his time with the Golden State Warriors, but he was still looked at as the best in the world. Even last season, after bringing a championship to Toronto, Kawhi Leonard was considered the best in the world despite not having won a league MVP trophy yet.
It seemed as though the torch was slowly being passed from James to the next generation. He remained a top-five player, but the best in the game became a debatable subject.
This season, James has set out to get that title back.
The Lakers have been great throughout 2019-20, on pace for a 63-win season before the suspension of play due to COVID-19. They were playing their best basketball at that point. They had won 12 of their last 15 games, with big wins over the L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets.
James was carrying the team through all of it. He played in 14 of those 15 games, averaging 28.2 points, 10.2 assists and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 36.9 percent from three. Taking his game to another level, James has been attacking the basket at every opportunity he finds.
Overall this season, James is shooting 34.9 percent from deep, but he is finding his range and making defenses pay if they